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World Civic Heraldry Guide: coats of arms and flags of cities, regions, states

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U.S., obverse side of The Great Seal

U.S., obverse side of The Great Seal

Obverse Side of the Great Seal. The most prominent feature is the American bald eagle supporting the shield, or escutcheon, which is composed of 13 red and white stripes, representing the original States, and a blue top which unites the shield and represents Congress. The motto, E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one), alludes to this union. The olive branch and 13 arrows denote the power of peace and war, which is exclusively vested in Congress. The constellation of stars denotes a new State taking its place and rank among other sovereign powers (see next pages).

Reverse side of The US Great SealReverse Side of the Great Seal. The pyramid signifies strength and duration: The eye over it and the motto, Annuit Coeptis (He [God] has favored our undertakings), allude to the many interventions of Providence in favor of the American cause. The date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence and the words under it, Novus Ordo Seclorum (A new order of the ages), signify the beginning of the new American era in 1776 (see next pages).
(The Great Seal of the United States / US State Department of State Bureau of Public Affairs. 1996.)


adopted (dd.mm.yyyy): 20.06.1782

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