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What do the Symbols on the US One-Dollar Bill Mean?

Diana Bocco
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are a lot of myths and controversies surrounding the dollar bill. Urban legends tie the bill to the Masonic order, and some people will argue that the symbols on it reveal long-lost secrets of the country. The dollar went through many changes in size, color, and overall design. The first dollar note to be issued as a Legal Tender Note was created in 1862 and featured a portrait of Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase. The current design of the dollar, which is the one surrounded in mystery, wasn't printed until 1969.

The main symbols on the dollar bill are the Great Seal of the United States, the unfinished pyramid, and the Eye of Providence. The all-seeing eye over the unfinished pyramid is supposed to portray the United States as a land continuously growing and far from finished, although some believe it indicates a connection to the Illuminati secret society. The bald eagle on the dollar bill is a symbol of victory and courage. The dollar bill also has many Latin phrases spread throughout. The main ones read:

  • E Pluribus Unum: "From many, one"
  • Novus Ordo Seclorum: "A new order has begun" or "a new order for the ages"
  • Annuit Coeptis: "God has favored our undertaking"

The number 13 plays an important role in the dollar bill, as it is the number of original colonies in the country. You can see it represented by the number of steps on the pyramid, the number of stars above the eagle, the number of letters in some of the Latin phrases, and the numbers of fruits, leaves, and arrows on the pictures.

Small details that people may miss on the dollar include the number 1776 written in Roman numerals (MDCCLXXVI) to represent the US Independence; the controversial "In God We Trust" term; an unsupported shield to mean strength in independence; and the balancing scales, which represent justice, not economic progress as some have suggested. Some people seem to believe there is also an owl and two small spiders represented on the bill, although this is subject to controversy.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Diana Bocco
By Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various businesses. With a data-focused approach and a talent for sharing engaging stories, Diana’s written work gets noticed and drives results.
Discussion Comments
By anon958536 — On Jun 27, 2014

The eye over the pyramid shows God freed us from slavery. I am the God your lord who brought you out of bondage and slavery. you shall have no gods before me. The money sees everything. The Star of David is on the right. Now imagine the 10 commandments in the center, and interpret the latter. Remember Jesus was a Jew and Free Masons all agree about the fundamentals of the one true GOD. The 10 commandments are the order of the ages. This is why the eye is above the pyramids.

By stevekin3 — On Nov 01, 2013

Since the dollar is based on a floating mentality, no metals, per se, what does "The United States of America" mean letter by letter when one rises up in the morning and when one lowers oneself to sleep at night? Also at any particular time of the day?

An example: This House Eye is useful, not icky. Trust the eye in the dollar structure. This "E" supported our future

By anon352936 — On Oct 26, 2013

If this is what an Illuminati is all about, thank God I am a Muslim, God is great, and I am not an oppressed Muslim lady.

By anon156355 — On Feb 26, 2011

Don't know of some things are true. But some of these theories are stupid. Annuit coeptis doesn't mean annihilate the beginning according to an online dictionary. it means He has favored our undertakings.

By anon126737 — On Nov 13, 2010

The following is about the Illuminati and Bohemian Grove that are seeking a One World Government (world dictatorship).

There are seven 13s on the back of the dollar:

1. 13 floors on the pyramid,

2. 13 letters in Annuit Coeptis,

3. 13 letters in E Pluribus Unum,

4. 13 arrows,

5. 13 Olive branches,

6. 13 stars,

7. 13 stripes on the shield.

These stand for the 13 families of the Illuminati:

1. Astor

2. Bundy

3. Collins

4. DuPont

5. Freeman

6. Kennedy

7. Li (Chinese)

8. Onassis

9. Rockefeller

10. Rothschild

11. Russell

12. Van Duyn

13. Merovingian (European Royal Families)

The eagle is looking in the direction of the olive branches (the 13 Colonies in union), but not the arrows (the Revolutionary War of the 13 Colonies).

The 1776 on the pyramid (MDCCLXXVI) is the year that the Illuminati were formed. They are still active, but not operational (they're alive, but not doing anything).

They are actually controlling the economy, the presidency, the government (Congress, Supreme Court, etc.), Hollywood, banks, currency, you name it, in about every single country, continent, state, province, territory, and others.

George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Harry S. Truman, Al Gore (possibly, I’m not sure), and many other (maybe every single) presidents and people running for president were all part of the Illuminati.

The 32 and 33 feathers of the eagle stand for the degrees of the Illuminati:

There are 32 original degrees, but the 33 is for outstanding Masonic service.

The 9 feathers on its tail stand for the 9 degrees of Freemasonry.

Harry S. Truman has contributed these ideas to the U.S. and coincidentally, he is considered the 32nd and 33rd president of the U.S.

Annuit Coeptis means to Annihilate the Beginning, or Our Economy has succeeded, Announcing the Birth of.

Novus Ordo Seclorum means The (New) Order of the Ages/World, or The (New) Order of the Ages/World Shut Out.

E Pluribus Unum means Out of Many, One.

The eye on the pyramid is known as the All Seeing Eye, which is actually the Eye of Hours, which is actually the Eye of Lucifer (Satan).

The pyramid is unfinished, indicating that the Illuminati are still at work.

The first and last letters of Annuit Coeptis are A and S, and the first, middle and last letters of Novus Odro Seclorum are N, O, and M, indicating MASON, and if you trace them, you should get the Jewish Star or the Star of David.

By anon125554 — On Nov 09, 2010

I just heard about this a week ago and decided to look it up to see for myself. i also heard that for one week, somewhere in washington, a town is shut down, then the president goes there to worship an owl. the same one on the dollar bill. i heard that all the presidents did the same. is it true?

By anon120529 — On Oct 21, 2010

Drawing the star of david (also made up of 13 stars on top the eagle)on the great seal on the dollar bill, makes up the word mason. The the A of Annuit, the S of coeptis, the second O of ordo, all join up to make an upside down triangle, if you look at the letters on the points of the existing pyramid, (in the right hand corner the the N of Novus, and the left hand corner the M of seclorum, all these letters at the tips of the triangles when rearranged make up the word Mason! and a drawing of the star of david!

By anon111884 — On Sep 18, 2010

I wrote my Master's thesis on the symbolism of the one dollar bill and the Great Seal. It all points to a single religion, "Out of Many, One." It incorporates images from Greek and Roman Mystery religions, religious philosophy, and borrows ideas from Judaism. Notice I did not add Christianity, as the one dollar bill is very much Anti-Christian. The pyramid rising from the Watermelon-shaped hieroglyph (Nun- meaning "all or nothing" is chaos.

The blocks in the pyramid give it order. Hence, "Order from Chaos." Also, the ancient Egyptians believed the first act of the deity was to "become" or rise out of the primordial chaos. Again, Order from Chaos. The name of the primordial hill? Atum- the sun-god, who was also represented by Horus, the falcon god, whose eye was said to watch over humanity. Just a start to a very deep enigma.

By anon94610 — On Jul 09, 2010

The owl on the dollar bill is supposedly the demon moloch who the elite worship in the bohemian grove. If you want to see footage go to youtube and type in bohemian grove and or molech. Also, if you want to know the truth behind politicians, look up the bilderberg group. Do your research. All of this is true, no conspiracy theories. All Washington politics is theatre.

By jason123 — On Jun 14, 2010

There is a horned owl just to the left of the "1" which appears on the upper right hand corner of the dollar bill. This is a symbol representing the Bohemian Grove. The occult playground of the global elite.

By anon84106 — On May 13, 2010

in the eagles left claws he holds 13 arrows that represent the 13 colonies. And the arrows is the symbol of war. In the eagles right claws he holds 13 olive branches that symbolize the colonies and peace. The eagles head is faced toward the olive branches showing our desire for peace and not war.

By anon70791 — On Mar 16, 2010

well, one side of the eagles wings has 32 feathers, which represents the 32nd degree of masonry. the other side has 33, which was a degree only given to the highest masons. And the tail has nine feathers.

By anon65962 — On Feb 16, 2010

the eagle's tail has nine feathers. sorry to burst your bubble.

By anon63459 — On Feb 01, 2010

what does the little owl mean? thank you for your time.

By anon60847 — On Jan 16, 2010

Was just reading this, and have to say I was quite surprised. Just figured it all to be good. I feel pretty naive right now. Interesting piece, I liked it.

By anon55134 — On Dec 04, 2009

What does the owl mean on front of the dollar bill in the upper right corner on the perch?

By anon53325 — On Nov 20, 2009

Of the curls all over the bill, take notice that just because 6's are filled they are 6's nevertheless. Drawn the sequence of number sets on a piece of paper rather than just symbols.

It's shown on green mark, 16 is key. Find the two sets of 16 and tilt the bill sideways, it's a royal wig. The entire bill is a tool of illusion. This is why, when you're handed the mark, which defines your place or without such you can die, you were to refuse it. When it was issued by your own religion. It's a test of those who want more, have nothing and those content with what they have. This will ultimately be the judgment tools. But it's a man-made agenda. That is for certain.

By anon52523 — On Nov 14, 2009

To #3: The eagle's tail has 9 feathers in it. They stand for the 9 degrees of the York Rite of Illuminati.

By anon49938 — On Oct 24, 2009

I was watching the mystery of the dollar bill and for months i have been analyzing it. i have come to something of new awakening. it is always discussed about the obvious 13? but does architecture not have mathematics in it as well? I notice that all sides on the eagle from the leaves, the arrows the stars and the banner all bear 13, but the eagle's tail has 8 feathers. what if it has always been a form of mathematics? i came up with this. the end of the world is always being talked about these days, with calendars ending oct. 13 is appeared 4 times 13X 4 = 52 - the 8 feathers on the tale gives you ??? that's right, 44. who is the 44th president? why is all this occurring now? Is it perhaps not to tell us who is being controlled in the white house for this new world order to take place? 32 feathers on the eagles wing and 33 on the other 32 + 33 = 65 and 65 - the 52 from the 13X 4 effect will get you 13. Hmm. i will post once i have unlocked more. -The Lurker

By anon38517 — On Jul 26, 2009

i heard that the dollar bill has some satanic signs. is that true?

By mikep5560 — On Aug 15, 2008

I was looking at a book called "Don't open" that had a picture of a dollar bill with basketballs in the "web" of it. Is this true? Does anyone know where I can see this picture?

Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various...
Learn more
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