A U.S. Army officer holds a zippered pouch with “Challenge Coins” for Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to hand out to U.S. military personnel stationed at Yokota Air Base in Japan, Sept. 17, 2012.
Now that Donald Trump is president, the traditional presidential challenge coin has undergone major changes, including the addition of his “Make America Great Again” slogan.
In addition, the presidential seal has been replaced with an eagle bearing Trump’s signature, the Washington Post reported.
The presidential coin gets a makeover.
Out: “E pluribus unum.”
In: “Make America Great Again.”https://t.co/MhgMYQnM4D
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 22, 2017
The 13 arrows representing the original states are also gone. The national motto, “E pluribus unum” — a Latin phrase that means “Out of many, one” — also has been removed.
Some ethics experts questioned the unprecedented decision to include a campaign slogan on the coins, which are often given to members of the military, the newspaper reported.
“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,” Trevor Potter, a Republican and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, told the Post.
In addition to his signature, Trump’s name appears three times on the coin, which is nearly twice as thick as its predecessors, while the traditional subdued silver and copper coloring is replaced with gold, the report said.
Challenge coins originated from military baubles bearing division insignia and presented by officers to troops for exemplary service, the Post reported.
Not everyone in the Trump administration has created their own challenge coin; among them is Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general.
“It’s not about him. It’s about the person whose hand he is shaking,” Mattis’ spokeswoman told the Post.
White House officials declined to say how much the coins cost or who designed them, according to the report.