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Oregon Man’s Design Selected to Honor Code Talkers on $1 Coin

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Tom Rogers’s design was recently selected to honor the Native American Code Talkers on the opposite side of the 2016 $1.

Rogers, a longtime sculptor, said that the Native American coin, which shows two different helmet designs with the years 1917 and 1941 (representing the Code Talkers from both World War I and World War II) on it, along with two eagle feathers that form a V, signifies the “enormous contribution” by Native Code Talkers. The design symbolizes “victory, unity, and the important role that these code talkers played,” a press release from the U.S. Mint said.

Rogers has lived in Beatty, Oregon, formerly a part of the Klamath Indian Reservation, for 10 years, and has a special connection to the Native community in Klamath County. “Since establishing a studio in Beatty, I have developed a greater understanding of Native American culture,” Rogers told the Klamath Falls Herald and News. “As a veteran, I am especially pleased and proud to have my design selected to honor the Native American Code Talkers on the reverse side of the 2016 Native American $1 coin.”

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An earlier design detail for the 2016 Native American dollar coin, 'Code Talkers from both World War I and World War II 1917-1945).'

A former sculptor-engraver for the U.S. Mint, Rogers also designed the reverse side of the 2000–2008 United States Sacagawea dollars. "After being selected for the original reverse of the Sacagawea dollar back in 2000 in Philadelphia," Rogers says, "I would have never imagined that in Oregon, in 2016, one of my designs would again be selected for the reverse of the same coin."

The Native American themes for the coins are represented in a series of designs that were developed under President George W. Bush’s 2007 Native American Coin Act. The 2016 coin is the last in the series.

The 2015 Native American $1 coin honored the Mohawk Ironworkers.