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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 5, January 29, 2006, Article 10

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE EDITORIAL PANS BEEHIVE DESIGN FOR STATE QUARTER

An editorial in the January 29th Salt Lake Tribune objects
to the proposed beehive design for Utah's state quarter:

"I began to wonder what the design for Utah's quarter
would be.

That's where the beehive comes in.

In July 2000, The Salt Lake Tribune published a story
explaining the selection process and how, under the Mint's
guidelines, depictions or logos of specific religious
organizations were inappropriate for the quarters. That
meant, according to the story, no Brigham Young, no Salt
Lake LDS Temple, no beehive on the Utah quarter.

Imagine my surprise, then, when first lady Mary Kaye
Huntsman earlier this month unveiled the three "concept
designs" chosen by the state's commemorative coin commission:
the completion of the transcontinental railroad, a snowboarder
and - drum roll, please - the beehive."

"But given the Mint's guidelines, and the beehive's place
in Utah as a Mormon symbol, it doesn't belong on the Utah
commemorative quarter because it is not universal. It is
representative of the LDS Church and Utah's Mormon roots, but
not of anyone else."

"Yes, I know. The beehive has many secular applications
in Utah. It appears all kinds of places, from the state flag
and the state seal to highway signs.

But ... the root of the Utah obsession with the beehive
is Mormon iconography ... "

"Given this history, and the Mint's prohibition of exclusive
religious symbolism on the state commemorative quarters, I
am puzzled that the beehive was not disqualified as a design
element."

"The one-paragraph narrative that Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.
provided to the Mint talks about the beehive's place on the
state's flag, how Utah's nickname is the Beehive State and
how the honey bee is the state insect, but makes no mention
of how all of these symbols derive directly from Mormonism.

It looks to me like state and Mint officials are being either
deliberately superficial or downright deceptive. I'm not sure
which."

To read the complete editorial, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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