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Seal of New York

Great Seal of the State of New York
Armiger State of New York
Adopted 1778
Supporters Liberty and Justice
Motto Excelsior
Coat of arms of the State of New York
Historical coat of arms, illustrated (1876)
Armiger State of New York
Adopted 1778
Supporters Liberty and Justice
Motto Excelsior

The state seal of New York features the state arms (the coat of arms was officially adopted in 1778) surrounded by the words "The Great Seal of the State of New York." A banner below shows the New York State motto (Excelsior, Latin for "Ever Upward").

The center shield displays a masted ship and a sloop on the Hudson River (symbols of inland and foreign commerce), bordered by a grassy shore and a mountain range in the background with the sun rising behind it.

Liberty (left) and Justice (right) support the shield and an American eagle spreads its wings above on a world globe. Liberty's left foot treads on a crown (a symbol of freedom from the Kingdom of Great Britain). Justice is blindfolded and holds a sword in one hand and a scale in the other, symbolizing impartiality and fairness.


  • History 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The first seal of New York State was created by a committee appointed April 15, 1777, with the intent that it be used "for all the purposes for which the Crown Seal was used under the Colony."[1] On the front of the seal there is an image of a rising sun with the motto "Excelsior" and the legend "The Great Seal of the State of New York." On the back is an image of a rock in the ocean, with the legend "Frustra."

The first seal was formally established by chapter 112 of the Laws of 1778, with some modifications in 1798 and 1809. There were apparently some informal variations over time as well, which led to the formation of a commission, in 1880, to determine the "exact description of the arms established in 1778."[2] The commission's conclusions, which were reported to the New York Legislature in 1881 and included "a description of the arms in language such as might be sufficient for the exact arms of the state to be constructed," resulted in the fourth version of the seal, established by chapter 190 of the (New York State) laws of 1881.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "George Clinton Signature and Great Seal of New York State Collection 1781-1801". New York State Library web site.  
  2. ^ a b Annual Report. New York State Department of State. 1914. pp. 44–45. 

External links

  • The Great Seal of the State of New York
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