The Great Seal of Virginia
Roman mythology defines the unique Great Seal of Virginia. The obverse of the seal features the Roman goddess Virtus standing over a defeated opponent. Virtus is dressed in Amazonian garb, and holds a spear and a sheathed sword. She represents the virtues of heroism, righteousness, freedom, and valor. She stands in a classical victor's pose over a fallen tyrannical foe, whose crown lies on the ground. The state's motto "Sic Semper Tyrannis" ("Thus Always to Tyrants") appears at the lower edge. The seal was approved at Virginia's 1776 Constitutional Convention, and the principal designer is said to have been George Wythe. A committee composed of Wythe, George Mason, Robert Carter Nicholas, and Richard Henry Lee collaborated on the design. In 1930 another committee was charged with standardizing the seal's design because of all the variations that came into use over the years. What the committee approved was basically adopting the 1776 seal as the standard. In 1949, another standard was implemented, when Virginia's Art Commission defined the official color scheme for the seal.
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