World Civic Heraldry Guide: coats of arms and flags of cities, regions, states
West Virginia, state seal
Joseph H. Diss Debar, an artist from Doddridge County, was chosen by a committee of the Legislature to prepare drawings for an official seal for the State of West Virginia. The artist submitted his drawings with an explanation of each detail and from these was adopted, by the Legislature, a seal which has remained without change, the Official Seal of West Virginia. The seal contains the Latin motto, Montani Semper Liberi, which means "Mountaineers Are Always Free." A large stone in the center of the seal stands for strength. On the stone is the date the State was admitted to the Union, June 20, 1863. The farmer with his ax represents agriculture, and the miner holding his pick represents industry. In front of the rock are two rifles, crossed and surmounted at the place of contact by the Phrygian cap, or cap of liberty, indicating that freedom and liberty were won and will be maintained by the force of arms. While the seal was designed and adopted with two sides, only the front side is in common use.
The reverse side of laurel and oak leaves, log house, hills, factories and boats is the Governor's Official Seal. The Constitution of West Virginia, Article 2, Section 7, provides that: "The present seal of the state, with its motto 'Montani Semper Liberi,' shall be the great seal of the State of West Virginia, and shall be kept by the secretary of state, to be used by him, officially as directed by law." /West Virginia Division of Tourism, www.callwva.com/
adopted (dd.mm.yyyy): 1863
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