It’s hard for expats to resist comparing our home country with our current home. Sometimes events conspire to make that impossible.
The U.S. has just announced that the new $20 bill will replace 19th century president and slave owner Andrew Jackson (in office 1829 - 1837) with escaped slave, abolitionist and Civil War spy Harriet Tubman (1822 - 1913). She will be the first woman, the first black person and the first non-President to appear on the front of a U.S. monetary note (except for the brief appearance of Martha Washington in the 19th century). Other great American women will soon be ensconced on the back of other U.S. bills.
Bravo U.S.A. But gosh, if only we had an image of dear Harriet that is less, uh, glum.Though goodness knows she had plenty to be glum about.
If she were alive today she might even be glum about the old-fashion design of her new $20 bill. It will look like every other U.S. dollar bill has looked for many years now, drab blue and green, with few sophisticated safeguards against counterfeiting. It will also still have on it the laughably unconstitutional statement, “In God We Trust.”
Coincidentally, my new home country of Switzerland is also unfolding a new monetary note, the first of a full series to come. The design is the exact opposite of the U.S. approach.
But it’s only money.