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February 26, 2008

D.C. commemorative quarter update

For reasons that elude me, the U.S. Mint will issue a commemorative quarter for D.C. and the U.S. territories to go along with the quarters that have been issued for each of the 50 states.

Mayor Fenty asked residents to propose designs. And now, says the Post, here are the finalists:

Yesterday, the District submitted three ideas for its quarter, part of a popular program that has produced coins representing each of the 50 states. One would feature the three stars and two bars of the D.C. flag; another would portray Benjamin Banneker, the 18th-century abolitionist who helped survey the city; and another would depict jazz great Duke Ellington, a D.C. native.

Each design would include the inscription "Taxation Without Representation" or "No Taxation Without Representation."
As the Post article notes, it's far from clear that the Mint will allow the slogan, because it doesn't allow "controversial subjects" on coins.

So which designs were the also-rans?
In addition to monuments, birds and flowers, there were calls for exploding manhole covers and red-light cameras. One person suggested a picture of Alexander "Boss" Shepherd, the 19th-century public works czar, eating a hot dog from Ben's Chili Bowl, a well-known restaurant. Another sent a drawing of a subway escalator, apparently aimed at educating clueless tourists. "Step to the Right on Metro Escalators," the motto read.

Scott and her team did not limit themselves to the e-mails, calls and letters from residents. They checked out local blogs that solicited ideas, which ran from the serious to the sarcastic.

The suggestions included making use of such potential D.C. symbols as a rat and a crack pipe. One blogger called for commemorating a takeout joint called Fish N Stuff.

"People were definitely into this," Scott said.
I offered my own design over a year ago, and since it beats the crap out of all these other things, I'm going to show it to you here again.