It was on January 11, 1822, when the General Assembly adopted an act which provided the official Great Seal of the State of Missouri. The legislation specifically designated what the symbols on the state seal would be and where they would be placed. Over the past 200 years, there have been a few different variations of the state seal, although the general design has remained mostly the same.

The center of the state seal consists of two main parts, the right-hand side is the United States coat of arms, which contains the bald eagle. Arrows and olive branches are being held by the eagle, which signifies the power of war and peace in the U.S.

On the left-hand side there is a grizzly bear and a silver crescent moon from the official state (Missouri) coat of arms. The crescent is supposed to represent the state at the time of the seal’s creation. A small state with a small population, and wealth that would increase as time goes on, as the crescent moon will do. “Second son” means that Missouri was the second state to be formed from the previous “Louisiana territory”.

Missouri state seal

The quote that can be read clearly on the Missouri state seal is “united we stand, divided we fall”, which implies that the people of the state should work together, as well as work with all other states and the federal government too, and if they do, they are likely to succeed by working towards a common purpose.

There are two grizzly bears, one on either side of the state’s coat of arms, which represent the state and the state’s citizen’s strength and bravery. Below the bears you will see the state motto “salus populi suprema lex esto”, this Latin phrase translates to “let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.” Underneath the scroll with the motto you will see the Roman numerals for the year 1820, which is when Missouri officially became a state.

Most states will have their seals showcase a relevant story, that is indicative of the state and its founding and history, and this fact about the Show Me State is certainly no different, embodying everything that Missouri stands for.