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Alaska State Seal

Great Seal of the State of State Alaska

Alaska Seal

Adopted in 1884; 1910;

The rays above the mountains represent the famous Alaskan northern lights, also known as aurora borealis. The smelter symbolizes mining, the train stands for Alaska's rail transportation, and ships denote marine transportation. The trees symbolize Alaska's wealth of timber and other forest products, and the farmer, his horse, and the three shocks of wheat portray Alaska's agriculture. The fish and seals signify the importance of seafood to Alaska's economy.

Although road and air transportation, oil and gas and tourism have developed considerably since the Seal was designed in 1910, Alaska's State Seal still represents the vast wealth, economy and incredible natural setting of the forty-ninth State.

Alabama Great Seal

Alaska Seal of 1884

In 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States, and for nearly fifty years the region was known as the District of Alaska. While Alaska was still a district, the first governor designated a seal of the district. This seal featured icebergs, northern lights, igloos and an Eskimo ice fishing.

When Congress provided for civil government for Alaska in 1884, the first governor designed, and had made, a seal for the District of Alaska. The seal was used until 1910 when Governor Walter E. Clark decided the design placed too much emphasis on icebergs, northern lights and Native people. The governor had a draftsman in Juneau sketch a new seal that incorporated the original features, plus symbols for mining, agriculture, fisheries, fur seal rookeries, and a railroad.

Alaska Seal of 1910

In 1910, this Seal was replaced with a design by an "unknown designer" more representative of the District's industrial and natural wealth.

In 1910, this seal was replaced with a design more representative of the state's industrial and natural wealth. The design was approved by the acting attorney general of the United States. A more refined drawing was made by an unknown person in the Department of the Interior, and the new seal was ready for use early in 1911. When Alaska changed from district to territorial status in 1912, the new designation was substituted on the seal. Today, this seal, created by an "unnamed draftsman," is the state seal of Alaska.

Depicted: The rays above the mountains represent the famous Alaskan northern lights. The smelter symbolizes mining, the train stands for Alaska's railroads, and ships denote transportation by sea. The trees pictured in the seal symbolize Alaska's wealth of timber, and the farmer, his horse, and the three shocks of wheat stand for Alaskan agriculture. The fish and the seals signify the importance of fishing and seal rookeries to Alaska's economy.

This Seal was retained through Alaska's territorial days and by adoption of Alaska's constitution in 1956 became the State Seal when Alaska joined the Union on January 3, 1959. The Constitution of the State of Alaska provides that the territorial seal shall be the seal for the State of Alaska, with the word "territory" changed to that of "state." The seal is 2 1/8 inches in diameter. The seal of the State of Alaska may be used only with the permission of the Lt. Governor.

Conditions for Use of the State Seal from Alaska Statutes:

Title 44. STATE GOVERNMENT
Chapter 44.09. STATE SEAL, FLAG, AND EMBLEMS
Sec. 44.09.010. State seal.

The official seal of the State of Alaska is comprised of two concentric circles between which appear the words "The Seal of the State of Alaska" and within the inner circle is the design of the seal corresponding to the representation in this section.

REFER TO THE BOOK FOR THE PROPER FORMS

Sec. 44.09.015. Use of seal without permission prohibited.

(a) A person may not use or make a die or impression of the state seal for any advertising or commercial purpose, unless written permission has first been obtained from the lieutenant governor.

(b) Violation of this section is a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not more than $500, or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both.

Sec. 44.09.017. Commemorative gold and silver medallions.

(a) The Department of Administration shall contract or otherwise arrange for the minting and sale of Alaska commemorative medallions minted only from .999 fine gold and silver in weights determined by the commissioner of administration. Gold and silver mined in Alaska shall be used in the production of the medallions. The state shall receive a royalty from the sale of the medallions. The amount of the royalty shall be determined by the commissioner of administration.

(b) One side of the commemorative medallions minted under this section shall contain the state seal. The design for the other side shall be determined in an annual contest conducted by the contractor under the supervision of the Department of Administration. Only designs using an Alaska theme and submitted by an Alaska resident may be considered in the contest. Payment for the winning design may not exceed $1,000.

(c) [Repealed, Sec. 35 ch 126 SLA 1994].

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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