The vast majority of Americans will never receive a presidential “challenge coin.” That’s because they’re nearly always handed quietly to U.S. military officers and troops from sitting presidents, as a gesture of gratitude for their service.
As the Washington Post reported the other day the “distinguished-looking coins” have now “undergone a Trumpian transformation.”
The presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle bearing President Trump’s signature. The eagle’s head faces right, not left, as on the seal. The 13 arrows representing the original states have disappeared. And the national motto, “E pluribus unum” – a Latin phrase that means “Out of many, one” – is gone.
Instead, both sides of the coin feature Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Challenge coins used to be modest, thin, made in subdued colors, and limited to military members. Donald Trump’s challenge coins are big, thick, gold, and “may be distributed at campaign rallies and to donors.”