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Going Local / United States of America Seal

United States of America Seal.
Side 1 "Front", Side 2 "Reverse"

United States of America Seal
United States of America Seal

On July 4, 1776, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were given the task of creating a seal for the United States of America. The delegates of the Constitutional Convention believed an emblem and national coat of arms would be evidence of an independent nation and a free people with high aspirations and grand hopes for the future.

The Great Seal finalized and official six years later on June 20, 1782. The seal reflects the beliefs and values that the Founding Fathers wanted to pass on to their descendents.

In the center of the seal is a bald eagle, our national bird. It holds in its beak a scroll inscribed E pluribus Unum, which is Latin meaning "out of many, one" and stands for one nation that was created from 13 colonies. In one claw is an olive branch, while the other holds a bundle of thirteen arrows. The olive branch and arrows "denote the power of peace and war."

A shield with thirteen red and white stripes covers the eagle's breast. The shield is supported solely by the American eagle to denote that Americans should rely on their own virtue. The red and white stripes of the shield represent the states united under and supporting the blue, representing the President and Congress. The color white signifies purity and innocence red, hardiness and valor and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice. Above the eagle's head is a cloud surrounding a blue field containing thirteen stars, which forms a constellation. The constellation denotes that a new State is taking its place among other nations.

Do you see a pattern of thirteen in the Great Seal?
13 stars in the crest above the eagle
13 stripes in the shield upon the eagle's breast
13 arrows in the eagle's left claw
13 olives and leaves in the eagles' right claw
13 letters in the motto carried by the eagle, E Pluribus Unum
Why thirteen? Thirteen represents the first thirteen states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The seal's reverse side is sometimes referred to as the spiritual side. It contains a 13-step pyramid with the year 1776 in Roman numerals at the base. At the top of the pyramid is the Eye of Providence and above is the motto Annuit Coeptis, meaning "It [the Eye of Providence] is favorable to our undertakings" or "He favors our undertakings." Below the pyramid, a scroll reads, Novus Ordo Seclorum, meaning "New Order of the Ages." It refers to 1776 as the beginning of the American new era.

The Great Seal can be seen on the back of a one-dollar bill. The Secretary of State is the official custodian of the seal. It is only attached (affixed) to certain documents, such as foreign treaties and presidential proclamations. The Great Seal is displayed in the Exhibit Hall of the Department of State, in Washington, DC




List of 50 State Seales of the United States

Alaska State Seal
Alaska State Seal

Alabama State Seal
Alabama State Seal

Arkansas State Seal
Arkansas State Seal

Arizona State Seal
Arizona State Seal

California State Seal
California State Seal

Colorado State Seal
Colorado State Seal

Connecticut State Seal
Connecticut State Seal

Delaware State Seal
Delaware State Seal

Florida State Seal
Florida State Seal

Georgia State Seal
Georgia State Seal

Hawaii State Seal
Hawaii State Seal

Iowa State Seal
Iowa State Seal

Idaho State Seal
Idaho State Seal

Illinois State Seal
Illinois State Seal

Indiana State Seal
Indiana State Seal

Kansas State Seal
Kansas State Seal

Kentucky State Seal
Kentucky State Seal

Louisiana State Seal
Louisiana State Seal

Massachusetts State Seal
Massachusetts State Seal

Maryland State Seal
Maryland State Seal

Maine State Seal
Maine State Seal

Michigan State Seal
Michigan State Seal

Minnesota State Seal
Minnesota State Seal

Missouri State Seal
Missouri State Seal

Mississippi State Seal
Mississippi State Seal

Montana State Seal
Montana State Seal

North Carolina State Seal
North Carolina State Seal

North Dakota State Seal
North Dakota State Seal

Nebraska State Seal
Nebraska State Seal

New Hampshire State Seal
New Hampshire State Seal

New Jersey State Seal
New Jersey State Seal

New Mexico State Seal
New Mexico State Seal

Nevada State Seal
Nevada State Seal

New York State Seal
New York State Seal

Ohio State Seal
Ohio State Seal

Oklahoma State Seal
Oklahoma State Seal

Oregon State Seal
Oregon State Seal

Pennsylvania State Seal
Pennsylvania State Seal

Rhode Island State Seal
Rhode Island State Seal

South Carolina State Seal
South Carolina State Seal

South Dakota State Seal
South Dakota State Seal

Tennessee State Seal
Tennessee State Seal

Texas State Seal
Texas State Seal

Utah State Seal
Utah State Seal

Virginia State Seal
Virginia  State Seal

Vermont State Seal
Vermont State Seal

Washington State Seal
Washington State Seal

Wisconsin State Seal
Wisconsin State Seal

West Virginia State Seal
West Virginia State Seal

Wyoming State Seal
Wyoming State Seal


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