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Delaware State Seal

Seal and Nickname

The Delaware State Seal
The Great Seal of the State of Delaware serves as a symbol of authenticity which verifies that government documents and papers of state are official and legal in the "First State". The Delaware state seal is also an emblem that is representative of the state's origins, history, character and ideals. The following motto, reflecting the spirit of the state, is also incorporated in the Delaware state seal:

"Liberty and independence"

The Delaware state seal identifies government buildings and officials and is a centerpiece for the Delaware state flag. The symbolism, history and emblems of the Delaware state seal are described below with fast facts and information.

Delaware State Seal


Facts on the Delaware State Seal
The men who designed the Great State seals were educated in the classics and were knowledgeable of art history and symbolism of heraldry. Fast, fun facts about the history and design of the Delaware State Seal:

Delaware State Seal Facts

Fact 1: The designer of the Delaware seal was the Philadelphia heraldic artist Pierre Eugene du Simitiere who also designed the seals of New Jersey and the Great Seal of the United States

Fact 2: The images of the du Simitiere design have never changed
Fact 3: The date of 1704 was the year of the first Delaware General Assembly
Fact 4: 1776 date - Independence from Great Britain

Fact 5: 1787 Commemorates its status as the first state to ratify the Federal Constitution, thus making Delaware the first state in the New Nation of America

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The Meaning of the Motto on the Delaware State Seal
The meaning of the motto on the Delaware Seal reflects the historical aspirations and concepts of freedom, justice and independence. The  motto was added to the seal in 1847.

Description, Symbols, Icons and Emblems of the Delaware State Seal
The description and meaning of the symbols, icons and emblems on the Delaware seal are as follows:

The surrounding inscription displays the "Great Seal of the State of Delaware" and the dates 1704, 1776 and 1787 which are explained above
A sailing ship is depicted at The top of the design of the Delaware seal reflecting the ships that carried the settlers to the new colony in the 1600's.
The sailing ship is now a reminder of the ship building industry and the importance of the  extensive coastal commerce of Delaware
The central shield is flanked by the figures of a farmer holding a hoe and a soldier (or militiaman)with his musket
The central shield is divided into three sections. The top section depicts a sheaf of wheat and an ear of corn - both important to the agriculture of the state

In heraldry a wheatsheaf is called a garb and it symbolizes that harvest of one's hopes has been secured

The blue middle section represents the Delaware River, important to the state's commerce and transportation
The bottom section has the picture of an ox which was used to help farm the land - oxen are related to male cattle and are used for pulling carts
The motto "Liberty and Independence" is displayed on a banner and was suggested by the Society of the Cincinnati, the oldest patriotic organization of American Revolutionary War officers which was formed in 1783.
The seal is kept and used as required by the Constitution and laws of the state.

The Delaware Flyer of 1876
The picture of the Delaware flyer shows the design in 1876 in which the central design dominated by the images of the ship and the ox is flanked by pictures depicting the agricultural lifestyle and industries of the  people at the time. The domesticated chickens with the buildings of a new town in the background on one side and the ship building industry on the other side.

The Delaware Seal of 1876
Delaware Flyer design of 1876

Delaware State Seal for Kids

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