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Panels pan gold King medal’s reverse

Meeting on Sept. 27, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee voted unanimously against the reverse of the Martin Luther King Jr. Coretta Scott King congressional gold medal, which features a long inscription.

Meanwhile, the Commission of Fine Arts suggested removing the MLK Center building from the reverse since it didn’t exist in his lifetime and it would help spread out the inscription and make it more legible. The CFA met Sept. 15.

Ute Wartenberg-Kagan, a member and former chairperson of the CCAC, cited a number of reasons why the group rejected the reverse design.

First, the group felt the inscription was too long. Second, the group didn’t like that it was a combination of quotes, with the first sentence changed from King’s original statement and containing a grammatical error and the second sentence taken from one of King’s books.

The quote in question is, “I suggest that the philosophy and strategy of nonviolence becomes immediately a subject for study for serious examination in every field of human conflict, by no means excluding the relations between nations. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.”

The CCAC did, however, vote unanimously in favor of the obverse, which features the images of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

The CCAC suggestions will be forwarded to the King family. The CFA is sending its recommendations to the Treasury secretary for review. Mrs. King endorsed the designs as presented.

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