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Solidifying the Cult of Lincoln, Penny Wise

February 17, 2010
Brion McClanahan

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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