What do the symbols on the U.S. $1 bill mean?


The Great Seal of the United States appears on the backside of the United States $1 bill. The reverse of the seal appears on the left, and the obverse side of the seal appears on the right.

The Continental Congress decided to create a national seal or emblem on July 4, 1776, the same day that the congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. The congress appointed Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to a committee to come up a national seal. It took­ six years, three committees, several artistic contributions and many revisions before the final seal was adopted on June 20, 1782.

­Si­nce that time, the Great Seal has undergone changes in design, reflecting the tastes and ideas of later generations, but the features of the original design were kept intact. These features are meant to graphically represent the tenets of the new nation.

Learn what the Unfinished Pyramid and the eye in a triangle signify on the next page.