Flip a Coin Day

Flip a Coin Day is celebrated on June 1st of each year.  The staff at National Whatever Day were unable to discover the origin of Flip a Coin Day.

Coin flipping, coin tossing, cross and pile, or heads or tails is the practice throwing a coin in the air to choose between two alternatives, sometimes to resolve a dispute between two parties.  It is a form of sortition which inherently has only two possible and equally likely outcomes.

The historical origin of coin flipping is the interpretation of a chance outcome as the expression of divine will.  Coin flipping as a game was known to the Romans as “navia aut caput” ‘ship or head’, as some coins had a ship on one side and the head of the emperor on the other.  In England, this game was referred to as cross and pile, and in the 19th century California frontier, as Indian or Wheat.

Two-Face, the comic book super-villain (most famously as a member of Batman rogues gallery), has a double-headed coin with one side defaced – a parallel to his actual character, because one side of his face is deformed – which he relies upon for all of his decisions.  He will do evil if it lands on the faced side, and good on the other side.  The coin is also representative of alter-ego Harvey Dent’s obsession with dualism and the number 2.