Dale’s Daily Data: E Pluribus Unum
Look on the back of a one dollar bill and you’ll see a couple of Latin phrases. Annuit coeptis – meaning He has favored our undertaking. And novus ordo seclorum – a new order of the ages. Jefferson, Franklin, Sam Adams and the other founding fathers not only crafted the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, they even went so far as to create a national seal. There was all kinds of debate over what the seal should show. There were suggestions it should show Moses or Hercules. The bald eagle was the final choice. And in addition to the Latin phrases that still appear on the dollar bill – they added another – e pluribus unum – out of many, one.
The significance of that phrase covers so many aspects of the idea of the United States – from many religions, from many races, from many customs, from many nations, from many ideas, one country.
But interesting that a phrase that has so much meaning is taken from an ancient recipe for salad dressing.
In a Greek poem by Parthenius – he describes the life of a poor farmer and a servant who get up each morning to make bread and a salad including garlic, parsley, green herbs, cheese, salt and other items coated with oil and vinegar. The recipe for combining the garlic and green herbs describes blending the colors into one – e pluribus unum.
The founding fathers thought that phrase described their ideas for the country perfectly.