Ben Franklin's Radical Idea for Motto on The Great Seal of the U.S.

Brad Fox | April 7, 2015
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On July 4, 1776, after approving the Declaration of Independence, Congress chose Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin to design a great seal for our new nation.

Everything in the United States Seal is symbolic, such as the eagle's head directed at the olive branch signifying that we prefer peace.

Maybe, you forgot what the phrases on the reverse side of the seal mean:

"Annuit Cœptis" is a Latin phrase suggesting that Providence (symbolized by the "eye" at the top of the pyramid) has "approved of (our) undertakings." The other phrase, "Novus Ordo Seclorum," is Latin for “A new order of the ages.”

In his book on the seal's history, author Charles A.L. Totten notes that Benjamin Franklin recommended the motto "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God” to express the importance of self-governance and liberty at all costs. 

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