The Seal of California State

The Seal of California State

The Constitutional Convention of 1849 adopted the Great Seal of the State of California. The seal was designed by Major R. S. Garnett of the United States Army and proposed by Caleb Lyon, a clerk of the convention. The Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva, has at her feet a grizzly bear and clusters of grapes representing wildlife and agricultural richness.

A miner works near the busy Sacramento River, below the Sierra Nevada peaks. The Greek word “Eureka” meaning “I have found it”, probably refers to the miner’s discovery of gold. Near the upper edge of the seal are 31 stars representing the number of states with California‘s anticipated admission. Just as Minerva sprung full-grown from the head of Jupiter, California became a state on September 9, 1850, without having to go through a territorial stage.

The Great Seal of California was adopted at the California state Constitutional Convention of 1849 and redesigned in 1937. The Seal of California features the Roman goddess Minerva (Athena in Greek mythology), the goddess of wisdom and war; a California grizzly bear (the official state animal) feeding on grape vines, representing California’s wine production; a sheaf of grain, representing agriculture; a miner, representing the California Gold Rush and the mining industry; and sailing ships, representing the state’s economic power.

The phrase “Eureka,” meaning “I have found it!”  is the California state motto. The original design of the seal was by Major R. S. Garnett of the United States Army. However, Garnett was unwilling to introduce the design to the 1849 state constitutional convention, so Caleb Lyon, a clerk of the convention, introduced it as his own design, with Garnett’s approval. The Seal of California features the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva, has at her feet a grizzly bear and clusters of grapes representing wildlife and agricultural richness. A miner works near the busy Sacramento River, below the Sierra Nevada peaks.

The Greek word “Eureka” meaning “I have found it”, probably refers to the miner’s discovery of gold. Near the upper edge of the seal are 31 stars representing the number of states with California’s anticipated admission. Just as Minerva sprung full-grown from the head of Jupiter, California became a state on September 9, 1850, without having to go through a territorial stage. There has been and is only one Great Seal, there have been many redesigns and reproductions of the seal – but there is only one Great Seal. There have been four designs and four master dies [1849, 1883, 1891, and 1937], all basically the same with variations in some minor details and in detail relations.