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Wisconsin State Seal

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The Wisconsin State Seal
The Great Seal of the State official Wisconsin serves as a symbol of authenticity which verifies that government documents and papers of state are official and legal in the "Badger State". The Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin state seal:


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

Wisconsin State Seal


Facts on the Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin Seal:

Wisconsin State Seal Facts

Fact 1: The first seal used was that of the Northwest Territories (see info below)

Fact 2: Achieved statehood May 29, 1848 when a revised design was created
Fact 3: It was modified in 1851 and finalized in 1851
Fact 4: The seal consists of the coat of arms and a curved line of 13 stars, representing the 13 original United States

Northwest Territories seal


Wisconsin & the Territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio
The Territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio (the Old Northwest) covered more than 260,000 square miles and consisted of the modern states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as well as northeastern Minnesota. The first recorded use of The seal of the Northwest Territory (the Old Northwest) was in a proclamation made on July 26, 1788. Congress passed legislation on May 8, 1792, that directed the U.S. Secretary of State to "provide proper seals for the several and respective public offices in the said Territories". The Great Wisconsin state seal was introduced when the state was admitted to the Union.

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

The state motto appears at the top reflecting the optimistic character and beliefs of the citizens of the state and their hopes for the future.
The inner part of the seal is based on the state's coat of arms. The shield is topped by a badger, the state animal
Two male figures of a sailor, holding a coil of rope, and a miner holding a pick, support the shield and represent the mining and shipping industries that were important to the early economy of Wisconsin
The center of the shield displays the U.S. coat of arms and the U.S. motto, "E pluribus unum"  meaning "one out of many" referring to the union of states.

The quartered shield holds symbols of the types of occupations which Wisconsin is known for -- agriculture (plow), mining (pick and shovel), manufacturing (arm and hammer) and navigation (anchor).

Under the shield is an image of a cornucopia (horn of plenty) symbolizing prosperity and abundance, while a pyramid of 13 lead ingots represents mineral wealth that also included copper

The thirteen stars symbolize the 13 original states of America

The seal is kept and used as required by the Constitution and laws of the state.

The State Banner of 1876
This is the 1876 banner which is interesting as it depicts an early version of the Wisconsin seal.


Wisconsin State Seal for Kids

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