US Coins

Code Talker medal design picks by Fine Arts Commission

The Commission of Fine Arts Oct. 15 endorsed recommendations from its staff that support tribal selections for congressional gold medals honoring Native Americans from two tribes who served as Code Talkers during World War II.

The two medals are among 33 to be struck and issued under provisions of Public Law 110-420.

The panel agreed with the choices of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee a week earlier about the medal for members of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe of New York.

For that medal, the obverse design shows a code talker with tribal animals symbols in the background and a reverse showing a Mohawk warrior wearing a bear claw necklace, with war clubs and a headdress and a belt in the surrounding design.

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For the Pueblo Laguna of New Mexico, though, the CFA differs somewhat from the CCAC, backing an obverse design showing a kneeling soldier holding a rifle and a walkie talkie, with  tribal symbols of a turkey and ear of corn in the background. The CCAC selected an obverse design showing the soldier, but with those symbols placed to the soldier’s left.

For the reverse, the CFA endorses a design showing the tribal seal and a shoulder patch for the 43rd Bombardment Group in which its members served. The CCAC also backed this design.

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