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.