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Solidifying the Cult of Lincoln, Penny Wise

February 17, 2010
Brion McClanahan
2/17/2010

In case you missed it (I did), Friday was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. In honor of the Great Centralizer, the United States Mint unveiled a new design for the penny. This should put to rest all of the discussion about the elimination of the worthless copper-clad zinc cent, but the real emphasis should be on the new message the penny pushes on the American public: Lincoln “saved the Union” and State’s rights is a fallacy. Don’t forget it.

The face of the penny will remain unchanged, but the reverse will feature a shield with thirteen stripes and the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” emblazoned across the top. The Mint described the symbolism of the new penny as thus: “The new Lincoln “Preservation of the Union” penny is emblematic of President Lincoln’s “preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country.” The 13 vertical stripes of the shield represent the states joined in one compact union to support the Federal government, represented by the horizontal bar above [emphasis added].” At the unveiling of the new penny in Springfield, IL, Mint Director Ed Moy said, “This one-cent coin honors the preservation of the union, which was Abraham Lincoln’s ultimate achievement. Because of his presidency, despite bitter regional enmity and a horrific civil war, we remained the United States of America.” This shield was widely used in the North during the War for Southern Independence as a propaganda piece. Nothing has changed. The penny will be in circulation for at least 50 years.

The story continues …..

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