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

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Iowa, state seal

Iowa, state seal

One of the initial acts of the first Iowa Legislature in 1847 was to create the Great Seal of Iowa. The two-inch diameter seal pictures a citizen soldier standing in a wheat field, surrounded by farming and industrial tools, with the Mississippi River in the background. An eagle is overhead, holding in its beak a scroll bearing the state motto, "Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain." The motto was the work of a three-man Senate committee and was incorporated into the design of the seal at their suggestion. The Great Seal cannot be used without the permission of the Governor. The state seal is retained in the custody of and under the control of the Governor, who uses the seal for official documents and functions.

Iowa Code, 1A.1. 1A.1 Seal-device-motto.
The secretary of state be, and is, hereby authorized to procure a seal which shall be the great seal of the state of Iowa, two inches in diameter, upon which shall be engraved the following device, surrounded by the words, "The Great Seal of the State of Iowa"--a sheaf and field of standing wheat, with a sickle and other farming utensils, on the left side near the bottom; a lead furnace and pile of pig lead on the right side; the citizen soldier, with a plow in his rear, supporting the American flag and liberty cap with his right hand, and his gun with his left, in the center and near the bottom; the Mississippi river in the rear of the whole, with the steamer Iowa under way; an eagle near the upper edge, holding in his beak a scroll, with the following inscription upon it: Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain.


adopted (dd.mm.yyyy): 1847

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