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US Official State Seals

Great Seal of each State

The basic definition of the word "seal" consists of three parts:

(1) any block or piece of hard material, such as stone, brass, or steel, engraved with a device, figure, or symbol, in such a manner that it can, with the application of pressure, impart an impression in relief on a substance such as wax, moistened clay, or paper;
(2) an impression so made; and
(3) the substance bearing the impression. In other words, a seal is any one or all of three things: (a) the engraved die used to make the impression; (b) the impression made from it; and (c) the wax, clay, paper, or other material on which the impression has been made.

A seal serves to identify, like a signature, an individual or organization and to authenticate written material from that individual or organization. Historically a seal established the authenticity of a document, just as a signature does today. Currently when both a seal and a signature appear together on a document, the seal authenticates or verifies the signature.

The seal of a nation or state is used today for authenticating documents of high importance or high ceremony issued in the name of the sovereign or the chief executive authority, such as the president or governor. Until the nineteenth century, many nations used pendant or hanging seals, but today almost all seals are stamped on a wafer or are of the en placard type, attached to the face of the document rather than suspended from it.

Site with pictures and history regarding each state seal. Great Seals are placed on documents and letters. to show that they are legal. Offers access to profiles of each of the 50 US states official designated Seals. Includes adoption date, state code, description, and photo.


State Seals
State Seals
When communications were transcribed by hand and tediously undertaken, seals authenticated official government documents. In this day of computers & instant communications, seals still serve the same purpose.
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