Donald Trump has some redesign ideas for the traditional presidential coin, adding gold, replacing “E Pluribus Unum” with “Make American Great Again,” and inserting his own name — three times.
This week, the White House unveiled Trump’s new design for the presidential challenge coin, which has traditionally been used as a gift for members of the U.S. military and other guests to the White House. As The Hill noted, Donald Trump was personally involved in redesigning the coin and had previously bragged that it would now read “Make America Great Again” since he won the presidency.
As the report noted, Trump made a number of changes to the traditional coin, including taking out the presidential seal and instead adding an image of the White House and an American flag. Trump also added a banner across the bottom bearing his name, along with his name appearing two other times in the coin.
Donald Trump also has more plans for his own coin, The Hill reported, giving it out at political rallies and to donors rather than simply to military guests. But there is some controversy over whether it is appropriate for Trump to be handing out what amounts to a campaign slogan.
“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 former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, told the Washington Post.
Trump has also come under criticism for his seemingly endless campaigning, with Trump already leaving the White House to make a series of campaign stops this year in his bid for re-election in 2020. Critics have accused Trump of using public resources on this campaigning, and of using his pulpit to launch unfair attacks on the media and private citizens.
Though the report drew some criticism for Donald Trump and accusations that the coin now reflects the tacky design style of a man famous for having a gold-plated toiler in his Manhattan luxury home, others noted that the presidential challenge coin tradition is a relatively new one, dating back only to Bill Clinton. Other presidents have made their own design changes to the coin in the past as well.