Breaking a decades-long tradition, President Trump revealed his “challenge” coin, on which he got rid of the presidential seal and replaced it with his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Trump replaced the national motto, "E Pluribus Unum"—Out of many, one—with his own campaign slogan. Then he had them make it gold and thicker, and put his name on it three times. It is as if they forged his mania and insecurities in the form of a coin. https://t.co/WarhQy4Loa
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) December 22, 2017
According to reports, President Trump was personally involved in designing the new coin.
Other changes include replacing the presidential seal with an eagle bearing President Trump’s signature. The eagle’s head faces opposite than on the presidential seal and the 13 arrows representing the original states have been removed. Trump’s name appears three times on the coin, and the coin is an obvious gold color, in contrast to the previous coins which were a subdued silver and copper.
The Republican National Committee is paying for the coins.
The Presidential “challenge coin” is a tradition that goes back two decades. The coins usually include slight variations with each new president, but none have ever been as redesigned as this – and none of them have contained a campaign motto.
Coins are usually given to individuals, many times to members of the military, to celebrate accomplishments or recognize an act of service. Presidents will pass the coin discreetly, usually with a handshake. But according to an anonymous White House aide, these coins will “be used in ways they haven’t been in the past” such as being distributed at rallies and to donors.
“For the commander in chief to give a political token with a campaign slogan on it to military officers would violate the important principle of separating the military from politics, as well as diminishing the tradition of the coin,” says Trevor Potter, a Republican who served as chairman of the Federal Elections Commission.
But can one really except anything different from Trump?