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Indiana State Seal
Great Seal of the State of Indiana
Adopted in 1963.
The Seal of the State of Indiana is used by the Governor of Indiana to certify official documents. Versions of this pioneer scene are found on official Indiana papers as early as 1801, since the region was a part of the Northwest Territory. A state seal was provided for in the 1816 and 1851 Indiana constitutions, but it was not until 1963 that the Indiana General Assembly provided an official description for the state seal. It is likely the original seal, which is similar to the current one, was created by William Henry Harrison during his administration of the Indiana Territory.
Indiana Great Seal
The United States Congress passed legislation on May 8, 1792, that directed the U.S. Secretary of State to "provide proper seals
for the several and respective public offices in the said Territories". Indiana was part of the Northwest Territory at that time and a seal was created by the
United States Department of State to be used on official papers of the territory. The original seal was maintained by Governor Arthur St. Clair and the first
recorded use was in a proclamation made on July 26, 1788.
At the bottom center, 1816, flanked on either side by a diamond, with two (2) dots and a leaf of the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), at both ends of the diamond. The inner circle has two (2) trees in the left background, three (3) hills in the center background with nearly a full sun setting behind and between the first and second hill from the left.
The words "Seal of the state of Indiana" appear at the top of the outer circle and the date Indiana entered the union (1816) appears below. The sun rising in the picture represents that Indiana has a bright future ahead and is just beginning. The mountains it rises over are a representation of the Allegheny Mountains showing that Indiana is in the west. The woodman represents civilization subduing the wilderness that was Indiana. The buffalo represents the wilderness fleeing westward away from the advancing civilization
Indiana Historical Bureau
Emblems and special days are established by law and made a part of the Indiana Code (IC).
Versions of this pioneer scene have been used on Indiana seals since territorial days. They are found on official papers as early as 1801. A seal was provided for in both the 1816 and 1851 state constitutions. The 1963 General Assembly gave legal sanction to this design and provided an official description (IC 1-2-4). The elements are a woodsman, buffalo, sycamore trees, hills and a setting sun; leaves of the state tree are in the border design.
Indiana Seal Law
TITLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
In days when communications were transcribed by hand and tediously undertaken, seals served to authenticate official government documents. In this day of computers and instant communications, seals still serve the same purpose.