Some years after the nation of the U.S. declared its official independence, many things began to change, and a new historical chapter started to commence in the United States.

On June 20, 1782, the nation’s state seal was finally approved by the Continental Congress, after a committee was first created to design the seal on July 4, 1776. Nearly six years and four designs later, the U.S. seal uses an eagle that holds a scroll in its beak with the E Pluribus Unum motto; in one claw is an olive branch, a symbol of peace, and the other claw holds thirteen arrows, a symbol of war. The seal is used on many official documents.

Shortly after 1776, states began to adopt their own official state seals, mottos, nicknames, and much more, which are all used to symbolize and represent the uniqueness of each state that resides within the nation.

Great seal of Delaware

So, what is the meaning of Delaware’s state seal? The official great seal of the state of Delaware is pretty unique in design, especially when compared with other state seals. Delaware’s seal was originally adopted on January 17, 1777, with the inscription reading “Great Seal of the State of Delaware”, which surrounds the coat of arms on the seal.

Great Seal of the State of Delaware

While Delaware’s seal has remained the same in original design, there have been some revisions over the years. Above the coat of arms, you can see three dates:

  • 1704 – this date signifies the year of the first-ever Delaware General Assembly.
  • 1776 – this is the year Delaware officially declared its independence from Great Britain.
  • 1787 – in this year Delaware was ratified to the United States Constitution, which is when it became the first-ever official state!

The state’s coat of arms which is displayed in the state seal can also be found on the official state flag too. Delaware’s seal is very busy, containing many significant pictures and symbols, which all represent something unique to the state.

Delaware state flag

The ship that features is a symbol of Delaware and New Castle County’s extensive and famous ship building industry and successful commercial coastal activities. The Farmer and Wheat Sheaf that feature in the seal is signifying the central role that farming and agriculture has had on the state past and present.

Inclusion of the militiaman pays homage to the role in which the citizen-soldier played to maintain American liberties. Indian Corn that is also present goes by the name of Maize and shows us the agricultural impact on the state’s strong economy.

The water in the symbol represents the Delaware River, which has aided the state’s commerce and transportation sectors tremendously over the years. The addition of the Ox is to display the importance of animal husbandry (breeding) to the state’s economy. Most states will have their seals showcase a relevant story, that is indicative of the state and its history, and the First State is certainly no different.