Georgia State Seal
YEAR OF ADOPTION
ADOPTION AND DESIGN
Georgia’s state constitution adopted the design of the Georgia state seal in 1798. The current code indicating the design is Title 50, Chapter 3, Article 2, Section 30, and is only very slightly modified from the original language.
The obverse shows three pillars draped with scrolls reading "Wisdom," "Justice," and "Moderation." The pillars support an arch inscribed "Constitution." A man with a drawn sword stands between the pillars on the right. "State of Georgia" appears in an arc across the top of the seal.
The reverse of the seal bears a harbor scene with a sailing ship anchored at a wharf. Workers on the wharf carry hogsheads of tobacco and bales of cotton onto the ship. Small boats laden with more hogsheads and cotton bales appear in the foreground. On the shore, near a substantial tree, a man plows a field with a horse-drawn plow. Sheep graze in the background. The motto "Agriculture and Commerce" and the date 1776 (originally 1799) are inscribed around the seal’s circumference.
On one side, a ship displaying the U.S. flag has a view of the seashore, with a ship bearing the flag of the United States riding at anchor near a wharf, receiving on board hogsheads of tobacco and bales of cotton, emblematic of the exports of this state; at a small distance a boat, landing from the interior of the state, with hogsheads, etc., on board, representing the state's internal traffic; in the back part of the same side a man in the act of plowing; and at a small distance a flock of sheep in different postures, shaded by a flourishing tree. The motto inscribed thereon is "Agriculture and Commerce, 1776."
On the obverse, the three pillars represent the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of Georgia’s state government, united under and supporting the state’s constitution. The banner identifies the principles of the state constitution as wisdom, justice, and moderation. The militiaman defends the constitution with a drawn sword, a symbol of just power. On the seal’s reverse, the farmer and sheep represent agriculture, while the ship represents commerce. The goods being loaded represent the state’s commodities for export, but the code specifies that the cargo in the foreground, "from the interior of the state," represent internal traffic.
A black-and-white line drawing of the seal was drafted in about 1955 and is still in use, as are a number of simple color interpretations. Some color schemes are gold with black outlines, or gold and silver with black outlines, and pale yellow with silver-gray outlines and deeper yellow rays emanating from the center. Some versions use the primary colors yellow, red, and blue, to accentuate details.
Only minor changes have been made to the seal since its adoption. The original seal featured "1799," the year of the seal’s formal adoption, instead of 1776, the year of the Declaration of Independence; this was changed in 1914. An intermediate version added the date 1831 to the tympanum under the arch.
-World Trade Press
Source: Georgia Secretary of State