The Seal of the State of Oregon is the official seal of the U.S. state of Oregon. It was designed by Harvey Gordon in 1857, two years before Oregon was admitted to the Union. The Seal Of Oregon was preceded by the Salmon Seal of the Provisional Government and the Seal of the Oregon Territory. The state seal is mandated by Article VI of the Oregon Constitution. The state seal of Oregon displays a shield (“escutcheon”) supported by 33 stars (Oregon was the 33rd state to join the Union).
The Seal Of Oregon is divided by a ribbon with the inscription “The Union” (adopted as Oregon’s state motto in 1957, but replaced in 1987 with “She Flies With Her Own Wings”). Above the ribbon are the mountains and forests of Oregon, an elk with branching antlers, a covered wagon and ox team, the Pacific Ocean with a setting sun, a departing British man-of-war ship (a symbol of the departure of British influence in the region) and an arriving American merchant ship (a symbol of the rise of American power).
Below the ribbon are a sheaf of wheat, plow, and pickax (symbols of Oregon’s mining and agricultural resources). The crest of the seal is the American bald eagle. Around the perimeter of the seal is the legend “State of Oregon 1859,” the year Oregon became a state. In 1857, the Oregon Constitutional Convention was held in the capital of Salem where the delegates drafted a constitution to prepare for statehood and adopted a new seal to be used once statehood was achieved.
The convention appointed Benjamin F. Burch, LaFayette Grover, and James K. Kelly to design a new Seal Of Oregon. A proposal for a Seal Of Oregon from Harvey Gordon was used with the addition of an elk added by the committee. Usage began after Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859, and the number of stars was increased to 33 from the original 32 by the Oregon Legislative Assembly (Minnesota became a state in 1858).