The first legislature, after Ohio, became a state, provided by law for a great Seal Of Ohio. The act was passed March 25, 1803. It provided for the design as follows: “On the right side, near the bottom, a sheaf of wheat, and on the left a bundle of seventeen arrows, both standing erect; in the background, and rising above the sheaf and arrows, a mountain, over which shall appear a rising sun.
The state Seal Of Ohio is surrounded by these words: ‘The Great Seal of the State of Ohio.’ ” The State of Ohio has had an official seal for more than two hundred years. Over that time, the state government has modified the seal several times. The current state Seal Of Ohio was adopted in 1996. The seal illustrates Ohio’s diverse geography. In the background stands Mount Logan in Ross County. Separating Mount Logan from the rest of the Seal Of Ohio is the Scioto River. In the foreground is a freshly harvested wheat field. In the field stands a sheaf of wheat, illustrating the importance of agriculture in Ohio. Nearby stand seventeen arrows that resemble the sheaf of wheat.
The seventeen arrows represent Ohio’s American Indian peoples, as well as the fact that Ohio was the seventeenth state to join the United States of America. At the top of the seal is the sun, with thirteen rays protruding outwards. The thirteen rays represent the thirteen colonies that became the original thirteen states of the United States. Some early versions of the seal also had a canal boat on the river.
According to historical lore, the Seal Of Ohio was based on the eastern view from Adena, the home of Thomas Worthington near Chillicothe. Worthington was one of Ohio’s first two United States senators and he served as the sixth governor of the state. Today, Adena is a museum operated by the Ohio History Connection.
Most scholars now believe that Adena’s view did not inspire the Seal Of Ohio. In an attempt to reign in the design of the seal, the Legislature officially adopted Ohio’s modern version in 1967, modifying it again in 1996. The Scioto River flows across the center of the Seal Of Ohio, separating cultivated fields from Mount Logan. Thirteen rays of a rising sun radiate over the mountain, symbolizing the 13 original colonies. In the foreground stands a sheaf of wheat, representing agriculture and bounty. Mimicking the sheaf of wheat is a bundle of 17 arrows, symbolizing Ohio as the 17th state to join the Union.