Washington, DC District Seal

Great Seal of the District of Columbia

Washington, DC Seal

Adopted on August 3, 1871

The Great Seal of the District of Columbia depicts Lady Justice hanging a wreath on a statue of George Washington; the motto of the District of Columbia, "JUSTITIA OMNIBUS" (Latin for Justice for All); and "1871", the year in which the District was organized in its present form. In the background is the United States Capitol on the right; on the left, a train steams across a viaduct under a rising sun.

The first act passed by the District's first legislative assembly on August 3, 1871, created the corporate seal of the District of Columbia, which includes this motto.

Washington,DC Great Seal

Without either a local or self government, the District of Columbia was very slow to develop a seal or flag of its own. The first seal, designed in 1871 by the Legislative Assembly of the District, included representations of the Capitol building, the American eagle, the figure of Justice, and George Washington.

When it was first adopted in 1871, the original seal featured Lady Justice placing a wreath not on a statue of George Washington, but on the Statue of Freedom, which currently sits atop the Capitol Building. By the late 1880s, the seal had been modified to feature a statue of George Washington.

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.