Arts Desk

When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield…


Capt America 1... it apparently ends up on the new penny. After a year of four bucolic scenes from Abraham Lincoln's life, the newly redesigned 2010 penny gets warlike with a shield centered on its back. It looks a lot like the one carried by Cap in 1941—which proved so impractical it disappeared in issue No. 2 and only pops up again when Marvel Comics is looking to hearken back to Cap's early days or renew a trademark. The U.S. Mint's press release says the shield "is emblematic of President Abraham Lincoln's preservation of the United States as a single and united country." Well, maybe, but Marvel just resurrected Cap after his 2007 assassination... so what does the Mint have planned for President Lincoln? Coincidence or conspiracy? You decide.

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  • Cathy

    Obviously Lincoln had a secret identity...

  • Mike Rhode
  • TomHandy

    For what it's worth, that shield has been used in various depictions of the Great Seal on currency for a long long time:'s_Chapel_Great_Seal_Painting.jpg

  • TomHandy

    or straight from the source:

    "The reverse features a union shield with a scroll draped across it bearing the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM ("out of many, one"). The 13 vertical stripes of the shield represent the states joined in one compact union to support the federal government, represented by the horizontal bar above. The union shield, which dates back to the 1780s, was used widely during the Civil War. In addition, the shield device is featured on frescoes throughout the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building by Constantino Brumidi, artist of the Capitol during Lincoln's presidency."

  • Mike Rhode

    Thanks for the additional info, TomHandy. I know the shield has been around for a long time, probably as long as the Roman fasces have been on our money, but to my eyes it really looked odd on a coin.