It still surprises me today that such a patriotic country has people who know so little about its own history.
The Dollar Bill was not designed by Freemasons, nor Freemasonry, and doesn't contain hidden Masonic symbolism.
1) Benjamin Franklin was the only Mason on the first design committee, and his suggestions had no Masonic content.
2) None of the final designers of the seal were Masons.
3) The interpretation of the eye on the seal is subtly different from the interpretation used by Masons.
4) The eye in the pyramid is not nor has been a Masonic symbol
A committee was assembled in 1776, Independance Day no less, to create a seal for the new American nation.
This first committe consisted of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, with Pierre Du Simitière as artist and consultant. Only Benjamin Franklin was a Mason, and he contributed nothing of a Masonic nature to the committee’s proposed design for a seal.
Du Simitière, who was not a Mason, contributed several major design features that appeared in the final seal namely the shield, E Pluribus Unum, MDCCLXXVI, and the eye of providence in a triangle.
The eye of providence usually being interpreted, by the un-educated, as one proof of "masonic influence" has an interesting history. First use of a single "eye" being in Egypt, as the Eye of Horus, it's appearance in the west was late 17th century, shown surrounded by clouds and by the early 18th century it was enclosed in a triangle as a more explicit trinitarian reference to the God of Christianity and considered a solely Christian symbol. Freemasonry was only just beginning in England and hadn't arrived in any other country by then.
This symbol was added by a non-maons and at most you could say this part was influenced by the Christian Faith America was born with.
It is written by Hieronimus, on p. 81, “The single eye was a well-established artistic convention for an ‘omniscient Ubiquitous Deity’ in the medallic art of the Renaisance. Du Simitière, who suggested using the symbol, collected art books and was familiar with the artistic and ornamental devices used in Renaissance art.”
Congress declined the first committee’s suggestions as well as those of the second committee in 1780 commitee. Again as with the first the consultant, Francis Hopkinson, contributed a number of ideas that remained: “white and red stripes within a blue background for the shield, a radiant constellation of thirteen stars, and an olive branch.”
Hopkinson’s greatest contribution to the current seal came from his design of a different note, the 1778 Colonial 50-dollar bill which is where we first see the unfinished pyramid.
The third and final design committee produced the layout in 1782, which congress finally passed. Charles Thomson, Secretary of Congress, and William Barton, artist and consultant, they borrowed the elements mentioned previously from the earlier designs and sketched what became the official seal of the United States of America.
The first mention of the "Masonic Influence" came in 1884 from Harvard Professor Eliot Norton who commented in writing that the reverse was “practically incapable of effective treatment; it can hardly, (however artistically treated by the designer,) look otherwise than as a dull emblem of a Masonic fraternity"
The simple, and ONLY fact that remains are the remarks made by Thomson and Barton, and offer the only legitimate explination as to the meaning behind the symbolism, regardless of what anyone else may wish to cunjure up in their imagination
“The Pyramid signified Strength and Duration: The Eye over it & the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favor of the American cause.”
The only element within the design that could be considered Masonic is the Eye of Providence, but the interpretation of it by the designers is very different from that used by the Masons. On the seal the eye represents the active intervention of God over men, and to bring it close to that of the Masonic use you would have to state it stands for a passive awareness by God of the activities of men. A change of words on paper yes, but the change in meaning is huge!.
The amusing part of it all those, is the All Seeing Eye did not become incorporated into the emblems of Freemasonry until 14 years after it was introduced to the Seal of the United States, and that was enclosed in a half circle, not triangle, which also changes the meaning. The triangle is specficially used emblematically of the Trinity.
Maybe we should be looking into America placing secret symbolism into Freemasonry LOL Only joking...
I am sad to say that many Freemasons guilty of this exaggeration as well, but with minimal effort and research you will find that nothing on the America Dollar Bill points to any Masonic symbol.
Adair Lodge #936
Moderator of Lodge Room UK
Walking the path and seeking the light