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Find information and history of the official state seal of each of the states.
New Mexico Symbols
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New Mexico State Seal
Great Seal of the State of New Mexico
Adopted in 1913.
The Great Seal of New Mexico was adopted in 1913. New Mexico's first seal was designed shortly after the organization of the Territorial Government, in 1851. The original seal has long since disappered, possibly as part of the artifacts placed into the cornerstone of the Soldiers Monument in the Santa Fe Plaza. Imprints of the original seal show it consisted of the American Eagle, clutching an olive branch in one talon, and three arrows in the other. Along the outside rim was the inscription "Great Seal of the Territory NM."
In the early 1860's an unknown official adopted a new seal, using a design similar to today's Great Seal. It featured the American Bald Eagle, its outstretched wings shielding a smaller Mexican Eagle, symbolizing the change of sovereignty from Mexico to the United States in 1846. The smaller Mexican Brown, or Harpy, Eagle grasped a snake in its beak and cactus in its talons, portraying an ancient Aztec myth. The outside rim of the seal contained the words "Territory of New Mexico," with the date of 1850 along the bottom in Roman numerals (MDCCCL).
Chapter 12, Article 3 of the New Mexico Statutes Annotated 12-3-1. [State seal; design.]
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.