To absolutely nobody’s surprise, the design of President Donald Trump’s presidential challenge coin is far different from that of his predecessors, undergoing what the Washington Post called a “Trumpian makeover.”
Some of the changes include the presidential seal being replaced by an eagle with President Trump’s signature, the eagle’s head facing right instead of left, and the replacement of the national motto, “E pluribus unum,” with Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” according to the Post. Additionally, the coin is thicker, features Trump’s name three times, and is, according to a White House aide, “very gold.”
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) December 23, 2017
The designers also added a gold banner-like feature with the president’s name at the bottom of the coin.
By contrast, Vice President Mike Pence’s coin looks remarkably like that of his predecessor, Joe Biden.
The aide told the Post that the president “wanted to weigh in on it,” calling it “beautifully made.”
“It’s definitely not a standard coin,” said coin collector John Wertman of the coin, which is thick enough to literally stand on its own. “I’m assuming the gold appeals directly to Trump. “He has a certain way he projects himself.”
The Republican National Committee pays for the coins, which are traditionally given out to donors, at campaign events, and to honor service members presidents encounter.
The coins typically are a hot collector item. The Post reports that President Obama’s coins were being sold online last week for as much as $999 each.
The addition of the “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan was not without some controversy. Former Republican FEC Chairman Trevor Potter told the Post: “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.”
Trump haters were predictably quick to slam the coin via Twitter:
What’s big and shiny and gold and features Donald Trump’s name splashed across the front? https://t.co/Wa1L8VCXaH
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 25, 2017
— VoteVets (@votevets) December 23, 2017
They all think they’re in an episode of Game of Thrones. Did you see Trump’s redesign of the Presidential “challenge coin” (which I’d never heard of before) ? Or Zinke’s personal flag flying over Interior Dept. (his ‘sigil’) ? This is all low class playacting.
— Rick Petree (@RickPetree) December 23, 2017
— Will Fischer (@will_c_fischer) December 23, 2017
Spain had Gaudi. The U.S. has Gaudy. https://t.co/2ZX2xV4Suy
— John Walke (@jwalkenrdc) December 23, 2017
Remember when Rs had a meltdown over Harriet Tubman replacing Jackson on the $20?
Trump redesigned the challenge coin to honor Trump
—presidential seal replaced by eagle w/ Trump’s signature
—13 arrows representing original states gone
—US motto “E pluribus unum” replaced w/MAGA pic.twitter.com/uoaw4FdWyU
— Maggie Jordan (@MaggieJordanACN) December 23, 2017
—deleted "E PLURIBUS UNUM" in favor of "Make America Great Again" (which Trump's trademarked) on the Presidential challenge coin
—declared this to be the "Merry Taxmas" season after claiming he brought "Merry Christmas" back
— Pé (@4everNeverTrump) December 24, 2017
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