Ben Carson Thinks There’s a Star of David on the Dollar Bill. There’s Not.

The GOP candidate shares a theory that leaves one expert scratching his head.

ByABC News
December 3, 2015, 4:10 PM

— -- Addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition today, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson told a story about how the Star of David came to be on the U.S. dollar bill.

Only one problem: There’s no Star of David on the dollar bill.

Carson was telling the story of wealthy Jewish merchant Haym Salomon, who is said to have been a major financier of George Washington’s troops during the Revolutionary War.

"Salomon gave all his funds to save the U.S. Army and, some say, no one knows for sure, that’s the reason there’s a Star of David on the back of the one dollar bill," Carson said in Washington, D.C.

There is a conspiracy theory that a design of stars arranged above the eagle on the U.S. seal printed on the bill forms a Jewish star and that this was done as a way to thank Salomon for his generosity.

But the Numismatic Bibliomania Society’s Wayne Homren says there’s no evidence to suggest any truth to support the theory that the stars were intentionally arranged to represent the Jewish star, let alone that it was done in Salomon’s name.

“If you squint, you can say there’s some resemblance but that certainly was not the intention of the designers, that we’re aware,” Homren told ABC News.

As it relates to Salomon specifically, Homren said, there is no mention of the Jewish merchant in the extensive collection of historical documents chronicling the design of the U.S. seal.

“All I know is there’s nothing any of us have discovered in the documentation that would support that,” he said.

“There are letters and other correspondence between members of Congress and people in the government about what the seal would look like and what it would contain,” Homren continued. “There are at least two thick books written about how the seal was created and nobody recognized anything about a Star of David.”

In the course of his remarks toady, Carson also addressed the internal conflict between Hamas and Fatah, which he said is one of the biggest hurdles facing the Palestinian people, and mispronounced Hamas several times (it sounded like hummus) in the process before self-correcting to use the proper pronunciation.

He also made the case that it’s a “red herring” to argue that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a necessary first step to solving the broader conflicts in the region.

"I do not buy into the oft-heard refrain that in order to solve our problems in the Middle East we must first solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Carson said. "It is a complete red herring to claim violence across the Middle East is the result of this conflict.”

The Carson campaign has responded to the ABC News story, to say that Dr. Carson was re-telling a story of a common myth and not asserting it as fact.

"What should be noted is that American history is chock-full of legends and lore, many true, and many more apocryphal. Dr. Carson repeated one of these common myths about the six-point star on the reverse of the dollar bill," Deputy Communications Director Ying Ma said in an email. "He was careful to note, however, that the story was unconfirmed, saying only that some believe this, though 'no one knows for sure.' We may never know why the origin of the six-point star on the bill, but it should not distract from Dr. Carson’s greater message, which is that we should always remember and honor the important role the American Jewish community has played in forging this great nation."