Pete’s a bit of a coin collector (I prefer to spend them), and he has a pile of “state” quarters on his dresser. I was having fun looking at the backs, seeing how each state chose to represent itself.
South Carolina did a good job of summarizing their state. Their coin includes the state bird (the Carolina Wren), the state flower (Yellow Jessamine), the state tree (Palmetto), and an outline of the state. Hmm, you think, they have birds and flowers in South Carolina. I might drop by someday.
New Jersey’s quarter portrays Washington crossing the Delaware, along with the caption, “Crossroads of the Revolution.” Wow, you exclaim, I’ve heard of that. So that’s where it happened. New Jersey must have been a pretty important place back then!
Delaware chose to show a man riding a galloping horse. At first, I assumed he was Paul Revere, then realized it was the wrong state. No, this is Caesar Rodney! What, you’ve never heard of him? Me neither.* Gee, you say, why would I want to go to Delaware if they don’t have anything better to put on their quarter?
Nebraska, one of the flattest states in the Union, chose the pinnacle called Chimney Rock for their quarter. Sure, the image includes a covered wagon passing by, but living in the rather mountainous state of Colorado, I considered Nebraskans wanting to be known by their vertical rock pretty funny.
Don’t worry—I’m not going to describe all fifty state quarters. Actually, there are more than fifty, because there are also quarters for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
It was interesting to note what each state or territory considered its (presumably) most important feature. Wyoming’s bucking bronco rider, Arizona’s Grand Canyon and saguaro, Washington’s salmon leaping in front of Mount Rainier… those quarters do a good job of representing those states.
Then I started wondering… if I was a state, what would I put on the back of my quarter? How could I summarize who I am in a circle about an inch in diameter? And if someone else was designing my quarter for me, what would they include?
Would I want to be represented by my achievements? Or by my hopes and dreams? What about my character? Hopefully, a designer would only pick positive attributes to include; no need to include my gluttonous relationships with chocolate and popcorn!
Pondering further… what would God put on my quarter? How I really am? Or how he sees me, sinless and sanctified? Would he show where I am now, or where he envisions me?
No, I haven’t figured this all out yet, but I sure have something to think about!
What would you put on your quarter?
*I looked him up. Wikipedia summarizes Caesar Rodney’s significance: “He was an officer of the Delaware militia during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, a Continental Congressman from Delaware, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and President of Delaware during most of the American Revolution.”
good question… I’ll think about that one too!