The “official” Arizona State Seal was designed by Phoenix newspaper artist, E.E. Motter. The State Seal of Arizona is a symbol of the authority and sovereignty of the state and is a valuable asset of its people. It is the intent of the state government to ensure that appropriate uses are made of the state seal and to assist the secretary of state in the performance of the secretary’s constitutional duty as custodian of the seal.
The official state seal of Arizona was designed in the Arizona Constitution. There is both a color and black and white version of the seal, but the black and white version is considered the official seal. The words “Great Seal of the State of Arizona” and the year of admission to the United States, 1912, is written around the seal. The state’s key enterprises at the time; mining, ranching, farming, and climate; are symbolized on the face of the seal.
In the background of the seal is a mountain range with the sun rising behind mountain peaks and at the right side of the mountain range is a storage reservoir (a man-made lake) and a dam. The sun and reservoir represent Arizona’s dry and sunny climate. In the middle of the seal are irrigated fields and orchards to represent farming; and, in the lower right side, we see ranching represented in the form of grazing cattle. To the left, on a mountainside, is a quartz mill with a miner with a pick and shovel.
Above the drawing is the state motto, “Ditat Deus,” meaning “God Enriches.” According to Article 22, Section 20 of the State of Arizona Constitution by the Arizona State Legislature. In a circular band surrounding the whole device shall be inscribed: “Great Seal of The State of Arizona”, with the year of admission of the State into the Union.” According to state statute (Arizona law) the State of Arizona, Secretary of State is the keeper of the seal and may grant a certificate of approval for a state agency.
The use of the seal cannot be used outside of state government. Any person who knowingly violates the law is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. It cannot be used for commercial purposes under Arizona state law.