Bruce W. Smith writes:
I saw the article about Haym Solomon and the Great Seal in The E-Sylum. As it happened, my mother sent me a copy of that email yesterday and asked me about it. A few days ago I found an old article in Numismatics International Bulletin, written by the late Ben Odesser, a well-known token collector in Chicago, and also a collector of Jewish memorabilia. His article pointed out that the Star of David was not a Jewish symbol. I have summed it up here:
I can also add that the so-called Star of David, also known as the Seal of Solomom, was not originally a Jewish symbol. The symbol first appears in ancient India long before the Jews were around. It was a magic symbol, and passed into other cultures as a magic symbol. In the 1700's, people in America were aware of the six pointed star as a magic symbol, and this is why it appears on American seals. All U.S. coins from the 1800's also have six pointed stars. Around the turn of the century (1900) the U.S. began to phase out 6 point stars in favor of 5 point stars. Why?
The 6 pointed star had been used on Islamic coins in the early 1800's (Morocco, for example) and probably before. Certainly not a Jewish symbol. But by the mid-1800's, a revival of Jewish mysticism had developed and the double-triangle star (Magen David) began to appear in Jewish publications. It was quickly identified with Judaism for reasons which aren't clear, and in the late 1800's, the Jewish Zionist Congress actually adopted it as its symbol. In the 20th century, it became THE Jewish symbol and now appears on the Israeli flag. But in the 1700's, this symbol was not associated with Jewish culture, and so Hayim Solomon could not have asked for it to be placed on the American Great Seal
The Snopes article seems to deal with the Haym Solomon email point by point but if anyone wanted more info on Solomon, here are a few useful sources the references at his Wikipedia entry:
Christopher Young. 2011. Barnet Hodes's Quest to Remember Haym Salomon, the Almost-Forgotten Jewish Patriot of the American Revolution
Barnet Hodes's Quest to Remember
Haym Salomon, the Almost-Forgotten
Jewish Patriot of the American Revolution
Info on the Chicago memorial to Washington, Solomon, & Robert Morris that Hodes commissioned:
Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art & Monuments
Howard Fast. 1941. Haym Solomon: Son of Liberty.