GreatSeal.com logo

Main Pages

Front Page
Overview
Seal FAQs

Design Process
 1st Committee
 2nd Committee
 3rd Committee
 Final Design
 Description
 Explanation

Latin Mottoes
 E Pluribus Unum
 Annuit Coeptis
 Novus Ordo Seclorum

Symbols (front)
 Bald Eagle
 Shield
 Olive Branch
 Arrows
 Stars
 Rays of Light
 Cloud

Symbols (back)
 Pyramid
 Eye
 MDCCLXXVI

Great Seals
 Official Dies
 First Engravings
 First Painting
 1792 Medal
 Indian Medals
 1882 Medal
 One-Dollar Bill

Myths
 Eagle Side
 Pyramid Side

Themes
 Unity
 Peace
 Liberty
 Thirteen

Related
 Wild Turkey
 President's Seal
 U.S. Constitution
 Sightings
   National Treasure
 Resources

Image from the DVD.

The Pyramid & Eye in National Treasure

Although it's the main marketing image for the film, the pyramid & eye plays more of a background role in the plot where it appears a few times.

Grandfather with young Ben. Its symbols are speaking to us.

Grandfather tells young Ben the legend that Freemasons and Knights Templars gave us clues to their treasure using the symbols on the reverse side of the Great Seal. Later, in adult Ben's kitchen we see a poster of the dollar bill. (True. Someone is speaking to us. But it's the Founding Fathers communicating their vision of America.)

All-seeing eye on wall. Button opens door to treasure anteroom.

At the film's climax beneath Trinity Church, Ben sees the all-seeing eye all the bad guys didn't see. On the floor beneath it is a pyramid and eye button that opens the door to an empty treasure room where the movie's first clue (Charlotte's pipe) becomes the key that unlocks the actual treasure trove.

In the fab treasure is the same pyramid & eye medallion seen at the beginning of the film when the Crusaders first find the treasure in Jerusalem. This medallion is a Hollywood prop.

Another significant fiction: Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, is the Freemason who sets the treasure hunt in motion by giving the first clue ("Charlotte") to Ben's ancestor. But Charles Carroll was not a member of the Freemasons.

Fictional medallion Fictional Medallion
The combination of an eye in the zenith of an unfinished pyramid did not exist as the symbol of any organization prior to 1782. It is an original American design approved by Congress on June 20th that year after Charles Thomson put together the final seal from ideas contributed by Pierre Du Simitière, Francis Hopkinson, and William Barton – the consultants and artists on the three preliminary design committees. These men were not Freemasons (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Although National Treasure reinforces masonic myths about the Great Seal (and highlights its association with money), the film itself is an entertaining manifestation of America's true national treasure, the creative genius of her people. It is great filmmaking: a huge technological, logistic, and artistic collaboration of several hundred talented professionals.

Here we go again. Another feds & robbers caper:
National Treasure: Book of Secrets