Have you ever carefully studied a dollar bill and wondered what all those symbols meant? I’ve always heard random theories: aliens, Freemasons, other secret societies, etc.

Let’s put an end to all the conspiracy and speculation, and get down to the nitty gritty.

1. Pyramid

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The pyramid on the dollar bill represents strength and duration. The western face of the pyramid has a shadow while other parts of it are in full light, which some think referenced that the western part of the country hadn’t been explored yet when the design was completed – or perhaps that it was still undetermined what the U.S. could achieve for Western civilization.

2. The eye above the pyramid.

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Three different committees made suggestions about the design of this seal, and the first included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams (strong group). The trio wanted an “all-seeing eye,” and they got it. The eye enclosed in the shape of a pyramid is an ancient symbol of divinity.

3. The letters at the base of the pyramid.

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You see the letters “MDCCLXXVI” across the base of the pyramid, which are the Roman numerals for the year 1776, the year our country declared its independence.

4. The eagle’s shield.

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As you can see, the eagle’s shield is not supported by anything. This symbolizes that Americans should rely on their own virtue and not on anyone or anything else. The horizontal bar at the top of the shield represents the federal government and the 13 stripes below it are for the 13 individual states that existed when it was designed.

5. The stars above the eagle.

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This one is pretty easy. The 13 stars represent the original 13 colonies in the country.

6. The eagle’s talons.

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The eagle holds an olive branch in one claw, representing peace, and arrows in the other, representing war. I honestly had no idea about this one…very interesting.

7. The lucky number 13.

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The number 13 pops up in many places on the dollar bill. There are 13 olive branch leaves, 13 arrows, 13 olive fruits, 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 stars above the eagle, and 13 bars on the eagle’s shield.

Oh, and “annuit coeptis” and “e pluribus unum” both have 13 letters.