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New York State Seal

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

"Ever Upward!"

The New York state seal identifies government buildings and officials and is a centerpiece for the New York state flag. The symbolism, history and emblems of the New York seal are described in this article with fast facts and information.

New York State Seal


Facts on the New York 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 New York State Seal:

New York State Seal Facts
Fact 1: Initially adopted in 1778

Fact 2: It was devised by a committee consisting of  John Jay, John Sloss Hobart and Gouverneur Morris

Fact 3: Officially adopted in 1882

George Washington


Description, Symbols, Icons and Emblems of the New York State Seal
The description and meaning of the symbols, icons and emblems on the New York State Sealare as follows:

The American Bald Eagle is pictured at the top of the New York seal on a globe of the Earth, showing the north Atlantic Ocean with outlines of its shores. The globe is a symbol of worldliness & world travel.  "By exhibiting the eastern and western continents on the globe, the old and new are brought together"
In heraldry and eagle with its wings "displayed" (outspread wings) symbolizes protection
Two female figures stand either side of the central shield

The figure of Lady Liberty is shown holding a staff topped with a gold liberty cap. The pileus, or Phrygian cap was said to be worn in ancient Rome by slaves who had won their freedom.

A royal crown lies at her left foot, thrown down to represent overthrowing the British monarchy in the War of Independence (17751783).

The figure of Justitia, the Roman goddess of Justice, is depicted wearing a blindfold. The blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out impartially, without fear or favour, regardless of identity, money, power, or weakness
In her right hand she holds a gold handled sword and she is ready to fight tyranny with her sword held high. She holds the scales of justice in her left hand
The shield has a picture of the mountains of the Hudson Highlands, the sun and a ship and a sloop sailing on the Hudson River. In heraldry the sun symbolizes glory and splendour; the fountain of life
The New York State seal is kept and used as required by the Constitution and laws of the state.

The New York State Seal of 1876
This is an early flyer that shows the 1876 design of the New York seal. The pictures either side of the centerpiece show an image of Niagara Falls and a picture of a paddle steamboat which was so important to early transportation in New York state.


New York State Seal for Kids

Meaning & recent pictures of the New York Great Seal
"Ever Upward!" motto
Find the meaning of the Great State Seal
Seal Meaning, History, Symbols and Origin for kids
Meaning, symbols, design, description and history
Interesting facts & picture of the Great State Seal
Official Nickname "Empire State"
Meaning of the New York Seal for schools, kids and children

New York State Seal for Kids

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