The buttons worn on the front panel, shoulder loops, and coat pockets of the Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU) Coat come in four sizes—20-ligne, 25-ligne, 30-ligne, and 36-ligne—and are found on the front panel, shoulder loops, breast pockets, and lower pockets. For the AGSU Coat, the Army switched from the bright brass buttons found on the blue Army Service/Dress Uniform—buttons made even more brilliant and shiny through the Hamilton-finish process—to buttons that have a matte, antique finish that is the very antithesis of brightr and shiny.

But according to Army Uniform Regulations, the two types of buttons do have one thing in common: the “coat of arms of the United States” is superimposed on them. Note, however, that even this simple assertion is not universally recognized.

Some argue that “coats of arms” belong to those with titles of Nobility, a status not recognized in the United States, but say that the image on the buttons—the obverse of the Great Seal of the United States—is a fine replacement, if not really a coat of arms.

But a response to this perspective is that the assumption that “heraldry,” and thus “coats of arms,” falls under the sole purview or Nobles/Artistocrats is mistaken. Heraldry is merely the use of symbology to represent a person or institution or organization, and thus can be employed anyone, and the mere fact that Nobles seem to use it more than any other type of socioeconomic class or institution does not make it exclusively theirs.

In any event, the image of the obverse of the Great Seal of the United States is so instantly recognizable that it is rather unimportant what name it is given. A far more interesting topic, in fact, is the unexpected response the United States government received when it placed the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States—which features the mysterious “all-seeing eye,” an unfinished pyramid, and Latin phrases—on the back of the United States dollar.

Even today, the strange imagery on the back of a dollar, none of it seemingly related to the struggle of the thirteen original colonies to break free from the tyranny of English rule, can conjure some very strange theories.

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