Great Seal secrets revealed!
By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer
Tue Feb 12, 4:03 PM ET
WASHINGTON - Conspiracy theorists take note: The myths surrounding one of America's oldest and most enduring national symbols are about to be debunked ... if you believe the government, that is.
The keepers of the Great Seal of the United States, the familiar emblem on the back of the $1 bill, want you to know what it is not. It is not a sign that Freemasons run the country, it has nothing to do with the occult, and it does not contain clues to a fabulous hidden treasure.
It is rather the nation's stamp of authority, sovereignty and power, gracing our cash and embossing the most important of documents from its home at the State Department, which has held it since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the first secretary of state.
Not that the Seal's symbols — the all-seeing eye, the unfinished pyramid, the Latin phrases, the bald eagle clutching an olive branch and arrows and the number 13 — aren't powerful.
They are, historians say. Yet their meanings have been misidentified, misunderstood and misrepresented almost since the Continental Congress first commissioned the Seal in 1776.