The Seal of Delaware State was first adopted on January 17, 1777, and contains the coat of arms. It also bears the inscription around it “Great Seal of the State of Delaware“ and the dates 1704, 1776 and 1787. Descriptions of the contents of the seal are as follows:
The Wheat Sheaf — was adapted from the Sussex County seal and signifies the agricultural vitality of Delaware.
The Ship — is a symbol of New Castle County’s shipbuilding industry and Delaware’s extensive coastal commerce.
The Corn — is taken from the Kent County seal and also symbolizes the agricultural basis of Delaware’s economy.
The Farmer — with the hoe represents the central role of farming to the state.
The Militiaman — with his musket recognizes the crucial role of the citizen-soldier to the maintenance of American liberties.
The Ox — represents the importance of animal husbandry to the state economy.
The Water — (above the Ox) stands for the Delaware River, the mainstay of the state’s commerce and transportation.
The Motto — was derived from the Order of Cincinnati, and approved in 1847.
The Dates — 1704, the year that Delaware established its General Assembly; 1776, the year that our independence from Great Britain was declared; and 1787, the year that Delaware became “the First State” by being the first colony to ratify the United States Constitution. The Seal of Delaware State was originally adopted in 1777 with minor changes made in 1793, 1847, and 1907. The current version was adopted in 2004. From 1793 until 1847 the figures of the farmer and the soldier were eliminated from the seal. In 1847 the motto “Liberty and Independence,” was added on a ribbon underneath the shield. In 1907 the seal was “modernized” and “THE DELAWARE STATE” was changed to “THE STATE OF DELAWARE”.
The seal now used as the Seal of Delaware State and bearing the arms of this State shall be the Great Seal of this State. It is emblazoned as follows: Party per fess, or and argent, the first charged with a garb (wheat sheaf) in bend dexter and an ear of maize (Indian Corn) in bend sinister, both proper; the second charged with an ox statant, ruminating, proper; fess, wavy azure, supporters on the dexter a husbandman with a hilling hoe, on the sinister a rifleman armed and accoutered at ease. Crest, on a wreath azure and argent, a ship under full sail, proper, with the words “Great Seal of the State of Delaware,” the dates “1704, 1776, and 1787,” and the words “Liberty and Independence” engraved thereon.