The Great Seal of the State of Mississippi was adopted in 2014, replacing the previous version that was used since the 19th century. The committee to design a Coat of Arms was appointed by legislative action February 7, 1894, and the design proposed by that committee was accepted and became the official Coat of Arms.
The committee recommended for the Coat of Arms a “Shield in color blue, with an eagle upon it with extended pinions, holding in the right talon a palm branch and a bundle of arrows in the left talon, with the word “Mississippi” above the eagle; the lettering on the shield and the eagle to be in gold; below the shield two branches of the cotton stalk, saltirewise, as in submitted design, and a scroll below extending upward and one each side three-fourths of the length of the shield; upon the scroll, which is to be red, the motto be printed in gold letters upon white spaces, as in design accompanying, the motto to be –VIRTUTE et ARMIS” which means by valor and arms.
The eagle is positioned in the center of the Seal Of Mississippi, with its wings spread wide and its head held high. Stars and stripes adorn its chest. In its talons, the eagle grasps an olive branch symbolizing a desire for peace and a quiver of arrows representing the power to wage war. The outer circle of the seal contains the text “The Great Seal of the State of Mississippi” at the top and the words “In God We Trust” at the bottom.
The first Mississippian governmental seal was adopted on January 19, 1798, when it was organized under the name of the Mississippi Territory. After it became a state in 1817, the same Seal Of Mississippi was designated as the state’s seal the following year. In July 2014, Mississippi adopted a new Seal Of Mississippi, which is still in use today. On January 31, 2014, purporting to defend religious freedom, the Mississippi Senate voted to add the words, “In God, We Trust” to the state Seal Of Mississippi and the change was made effective on July 1, 2014.