Seal of the United States

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Seal of the United States

The official die or signet, which has a raised emblem and is used by federal officials on documents of importance.

The United States seal is sometimes officially known as the great seal. The Secretary of State has custody and charge of the official seal and makes out, records, and affixes the seal to all civil commissions for officers of the United States, who are appointed by the president alone, or by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. In order for the seal to be affixed to any commission or other instrument, the president must sign or specially warrant the commission. When the seal is affixed to an appointment, such appointment is made and the commission is valid.

Each state also has an official seal, which is carefully described by law and serves functions on the state level of government that are similar to those of the seal of the United States on the federal level.

SEAL OF THE UNITED STATES, government. The seal used by the United States in congress assembled, shall be the seal of the United States, viz.: ARMS, pale-ways of thirteen pieces argent and gules; a chief azure; the escutcheon on the breast of the American eagle displayer proper, holding in his dexter talon, an olive branch, and in his sinister, a bundle of thirteen arrows, all proper, and in his beak a scroll, inscribed with this motto, "E pluribus unum." For the CREST: over the head of the eagle which appears above the escutcheon, a glory, or breaking through a cloud, proper, and surrounding thirteen stars, forming a constellation argent on an azure field. REVERSE, a pyramid unfinished. In the zenith an eye in a triangle, surrounded with a glory proper: over the eye, these words, "Annuit caeptis." On the base of the pyramid, the numerical letters, MDCCLXXVI; and underneath, the following motto, "Novus ordo seclorum." Resolution of Congress, June 20, 1782; Gordon's Dig. art. 207.

References in periodicals archive ?
Returning to the substance of the matter, on June 20, 1782, when the Confederation Congress adopted what was to become the seal of the United States, it used the following legal blazon:
Knox applied the Great Seal of the United States to the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, did the income tax become the primary means for financing the federal government.
How many times have you entered a VA hospital or received VA correspondence and noticed the official seal of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs?
Technicians searched the ambassador's house and found a listening device hidden inside a bas-relief Great Seal of the United States, a hand-carved goodwill gift from Soviet boy scouts seven years earlier.
Some carry the Presidential Seal of the United States and one of them bears the name of Richard Nixon.
Fate dictated the name of the company, whose building sported an official seal of the United States government which was embedded in the fresco overhanging the entrance.
What you see first are the two sides of the Great Seal of the United States, which was created in 1782.
This is one-half of the Great Seal of the United States printed on every dollar bill, and it's a good example of Masonic syncretism, borrowing and blending Roman, Egyptian, and Christian elements.
To mark the occasion, Korbel prepared a special inaugural cuvee of their Natural (driest) label and got special permission to imprint special magnums (only 871 were produced) with the Great Seal of the United States.
In particular, she said, the Great Seal of the United States did not deeply resonate with Hungary's people.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.