The Great Seal of Missouri
Great Seal was designed by Judge Robert William Wells and adopted
by the Missouri General Assembly on January 11, 1822. The center
of the state seal is composed of two parts. On the right is
the United States coat-of-arms containing the bald eagle. In
its claws are arrows and olive branches, signifying that the
power of war and peace lies with the U.S. federal government.
On the left side of the shield, the state side, are a grizzly
bear and a silver crescent moon. The crescent symbolizes Missouri
at the time of the state seal's creation, a state of small population
and wealth which would increase like the new or crescent moon;
it also symbolizes the "second son," meaning Missouri was the
second state formed out of the Louisiana Territory.
shield is encircled by a belt inscribed with the motto, "United
we stand, divided we fall," which indicates Missouri's advantage
as a member of the United States. The two grizzlies on either
side of the shield symbolize the state's strength and its citizens'
bravery. The bears stand atop a scroll bearing the state
motto, "Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto," which means, "Let
the welfare of the people be the supreme law." Below this scroll
are the Roman numerals for 1820, the year Missouri began its
functions as a state.
The helmet above the shield represents
state sovereignty, and the large star atop the helmet surrounded
by 23 smaller stars signifies Missouri's status as the 24th
state. The cloud around the large star indicates the problems
Missouri had in becoming a state. The whole state seal is enclosed
by a scroll bearing the words, "The Great Seal of the State
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