I was catching up on the news and found an article about the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts choice for the reverse of the 2010 Lincoln Cent. In a word, “ugh!”
According to Public Law 109-145 (GPO: [Text] [PDF]) it reads:
The design on the reverse of the 1-cent coins issued after December 31, 2009, shall bear an image emblematic of President Lincoln&rdqo;s preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country.
There are many ways to depict the US as a single and united country. But wheat sheafs bound together is such an esoteric design decision that the majority of the country will not understand. To make matters worse, the CFA recommended that the US Mint removes the words “ONE COUNTRY” and the “1 ¢” designation for the words “ONE CENT” across the reverse.
Even though I have not seen the other designs the CFA had to choose from, I would not think about bound wheat as a symbolism of a united country. The United States is no longer an agrarian society. We are bound together as a people with diverse cultures tied together by communications and commerce. Lincoln’s preservation of the union was the ideal that the strength of the many outweighed the differences we had.
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 28, 2009,at United States Mint Headquarters, 801 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20220. CCAC meetings are open to the public and begin at 9:30 AM. I wonder if they take comments from the public?
Image courtesy of Numismaster.com and the US Mint.