Great Seal of the State of Vermont
Vermont's Great Seal has traveled the full swing of a pendulum.
The original Vermont seal was designed in 1778 by Ira Allen, Green Mountain Boy, soldier, statesman, political leader, "Father of the University of Vermont, and youngest brother of Ethan Allen. The seal contained some basic symbolic images that represented the state. These images were not intricately sophisticated, but they did depict the character of Vermont at the time.
The design was a circle, bordered on the top and bottom by wavy lines suggesting sky and water. A sheaf of wheat stands in each quadrant of the circle. A cow, of course, stands as a cow does, and Vermont had its share of cows. The rolling hills and forests of Vermont's landscape are depicted across the center of the circle. A lone pine stands at the top center of the scene. Across the lower half of the circle are the words "Vermont Freedom & Unity".
The design was accepted by resolution of the Vermont General Assembly on February 20, 1779.
By 1821, the original seal, made by Reuben Dean of Windsor, had worn out. The new seal, while including some of the basic design elements of the first, provided what was called a more "sophisticated" rendition of the tall pine, the cow, and the landscape. The 1821 seal was more pictorial, and it and several variations were used for official business for the next 115 years.
In 1937, Vermonters decided that the original 1778 design was more in keeping with the state's image, and adopted a new version, a faithful reproduction of Ira Allen's original design.
The following information was excerpted from the Vermont Statutes Annotated, Title 1, Chapter 11 and the Vermont Constitution, Section 22.
TITLE ONE. GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 493. State seal
The state seal shall be the great seal of the state, a faithful reproduction, cut larger and deeper, of the original seal, designed by Ira Allen, cut by Reuben Dean of Windsor and accepted by resolution of the general assembly, dated February 20, 1779. The seal shall be kept by the secretary of civil and military affairs.
1 V.S.A. § 494 (2012)
§ 494. Use of state seal
The Vermont development board may, with the prior written consent of the governor, reproduce the seal of the state of Vermont in any state sponsored publication whether or not advertising is included in such publication.
HISTORY: Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 18(a), eff. March 1, 1961.
The following information was excerpted from the Constitution of the State of Vermont.
Constitution of the State of Vermont
§ 22. [Commissions; state seal]
All commissions shall be in the name of The People of the State of Vermont, sealed with the State Seal, signed by the Governor, and in the absence of the Governor by the Lieutenant-Governor, and attested by the Secretary; which Seal shall be kept by the Governor.
Source: The Vermont Legislature, Vermont Statutes Online, (http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/statutes2.htm), October 3, 2008.
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