The Importance of Symbols - Conway Center for Family Business

The Importance of Symbols

 By Jennifer Griffith, Conway Center Service Provider and Ohio Regional President of First Merchants Bank

Last summer, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced plans for a redesign of the $10 bill, marking the first time in more than a century that a woman will be featured on a United States bill. We will be joining ten other countries around the globe to currently feature a woman on its paper money.

Martha Washington was on the $1 Silver Certificate for five years and, before that, Pocahontas was featured on the $20 note from 1865–1869. Since then, women have been featured on the coin, but not on notes.

Since the announcement, the Treasury has been seeking input from the public. Per law, the individual must be dead. Per guidance, the individual must be a “champion for our inclusive democracy.”

Some early polling suggests that Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist and humanitarian may receive a lot of support. Eleanor Roosevelt seems to be a solid contender for the honor as well. You can share your input with the Treasury by using #TheNew10 or visit

If you’d like to be heard, I suggest posting your opinion soon. The Treasury is going to be under a time crunch to announce. The new note is expected to be in circulation by 2020.

Pull a $10 bill out of your wallet and take a look. If it was issued after 2006, then you’re looking at the design created to portray the United States as a source of stability and freedom. The addition of Lady Liberty and “We the People” undoubtedly grab your heart and celebrate patriotic pride. Symbols of our great country instantly unite us as Americans.

What symbols unite your team?

At First Merchants, the Gold Shield is our promise to each other, our promise to our communities and our promise to our shareholders. It is the symbol of our culture.

From a historical perspective, the shield depicts the design of the founding bank’s main office building located in Muncie, Indiana. The roof over the three pillars is First Merchants Corporation, the holding company. Together they combine to create a powerful shield that reflects the strength of First Merchants as a whole. The color gold is used to give a sense of success, prosperity and confidence along with richness and warmth to enhance the brand of First Merchants. “The Strength of Big, The Service of Small.”

What is your story? How do you capture your past, present and future in frequently replicated, highly visible symbolic demonstrations? Does your logo tell the story of who you are and what the future can expect? Does it create pride?

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