What’s with the floating-eye pyramid on the U.S. dollar bill?

Symbol has nothing to do with the Illuminati

The "Eye of Providence" above the unfinished pyramid — this symbol makes up one half of the United States' Great Seal. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Have you ever taken a look at a $1 bill? Have you ever noticed an image of a pyramid with an eyeball hovering above it? Have you ever wondered, “What’s the deal with that?”

Well, despite many popular conspiracy theories, it has nothing to do with the Illuminati.

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the pyramid actually represents one side of the United States’ Great Seal, shared in joint with the image of an eagle that you can see on the other side of the bill.

The uncapped pyramid may be a metaphor for the country, which was not yet finished at the time of the pyramid’s design. The NIEHS also states that the design was intentional, and Charles Thomson — a designer of the Great Seal — said it represented “strength and duration.”

The eye above the pyramid is also meant to be a reflection of divine providence for the creation of the U.S., something that is further demonstrated by the terms “ANNUIT COEPTIS” (”God has favored our undertaking”) and “NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM” (”A new order for the world”).

While Thomson came up with the idea for the pyramid, a committee featuring Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson was responsible for coming up with the idea of divine providence as a theme for the symbol, NIEHS states.

The pyramid also has some interesting symbols in it, as noted by the U.S. Currency Education Program.

For those looking closely, Roman numerals can be spotted at the base of the pyramid that read out the number 1776 — the year of the country’s founding. In addition, 13 steps can be seen along the pyramids exterior, which isn’t a coincidence.

An eagle holding an olive branch, 13 arrows and a shield with 13 stripes running down it — this image makes up half of the United States' Great Seal. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

The eagle, which is inscribed as the other half of the Great Seal, is seen holding 13 arrows, a shield with 13 stripes and 13 stars in the constellation over its head.

According to the program, this leitmotif represents the 13 colonies, which became the original states in the U.S.

The program also says that the Great Seal images weren’t always on the $1 bill.

In 1935, President Roosevelt received a new design for the bill from the Department of the Treasury that featured both sides of the Great Seal, but Roosevelt made some changes and switched the images around — ultimately leading to the pyramid on the left side of the bill and the eagle on the right.

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About the Author:

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.