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

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Wisconsin, state seal

Wisconsin, state seal

This was established through Article XIII, Section 4, of the Wisconsin State Constitution. The seal consists of the coat of arms with the words "Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin" centered above and a curved line of 13 stars representing the 13 original United States centered below, surrounded by an ornamental border. A modified " lesser seal serves as the seal of the secretary of state. The history of Wisconsin is incorporated into the design of the seal. An official seal was created in 1836, when Wisconsin became a territory and revised three years later. When Wisconsin became a state in 1848, a new seal was created. In 1881 that design was also changed and that is the seal we use today.

The Coat of Arms is basically the inner part of the Great Seal of Wisconsin minus the border, wording and stars. The seal contains a sailor with a coil of rope and a "yeoman" usually considered a miner with a pick, who jointly represent labor on water and land. These two figures support a quartered shield with symbols of the types of occupations which Wisconsin is known for -- agriculture (plow), mining (pick and shovel), manufacturing (arm and hammer) and navigation (anchor). Centered on the shield is a small U.S. coat of arms and the U.S. motto, "E pluribus unum" ("one out of many" referring to the union of U.S. states). That symbolized our loyalty to the Union. A cornucopia or horn of plenty, stands for prosperity and abundance, while a pyramid of 13 lead ingots represents mineral wealth and the 13 original United States. A banner is centered over the seal with Wisconsin's motto -- FORWARD and below is a badger, our animal. /Wisconsin Senate, www.legis.state.wi.us/senate/


adopted (dd.mm.yyyy): 1881

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