New Jersey State Seal was designed by Pierre Eugene du Simitiere and presented in May 1777. There are several state symbols included in the seal. The horse head stands for speed and strength and is the state animal. The helmet of a knight’s suit of armor faces forward representing sovereignty for a state that governs itself. Below the helmet is a shield with three plows on it. The plows show the importance of agriculture to the state’s economic power. The female figures pictured in the state Seal Of New Jersey are Liberty on the left, carrying the liberty cap on her staff.
The liberty cap was worn as a symbol of rebellion by patriots in the colonies. Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain is on the right. She holds a cornucopia filled with harvested produce, symbolizing abundance. Below it all is a banner with the state’s motto, “Liberty and Prosperity”. After the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the newly formed state legislature authorized Francis Hopkinson, who had signed the Declaration as a delegate to the Continental Congress from New Jersey and would later be credited with designing the “Stars and Stripes” US flag, “…to employ proper persons, at Philadelphia, to prepare a silver seal, which is to be round…and that the arms shall be three plows in an escutcheon, the supporters Liberty and Ceres, and the crest a horse’s head.
These words to be engraved, in large letters, round the arms, viz: ‘The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey.’ Hopkinson retained Pierre Eugene du Simitiere, an artist and Swiss native residing in Philadelphia who served as the artistic consultant for the committees that designed the Great Seal of the United States, and who also suggested the adoption of the US motto E Pluribus Unum (“Out of Many, One”).
In addition to designing New Jersey’s seal in 1777, du Simitiere also designed the seals of Delaware and Georgia. The Seal Of New Jersey contains symbols signifying themes and interests : the helmet and the horse’s head crest represent New Jersey’s independence as a state and its status as one of the first states; the woman holding a staff with a liberty cap on top is Liberty, who represents freedom, with the caps worn as a sign of patriotism during the Revolution; Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain, holds a cone-shaped basket called a cornucopia, filled with fruits and vegetables produced in New Jersey and the three plows on the shield also symbolize the agricultural tradition of New Jersey. The state’s motto “Liberty and Prosperity” is written on the scroll at the bottom of the seal.