Shortly after 1776, states like New Jersey 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 U.S. state.

The New Jersey state seal was first designed by Pierre Eugene du Simitiere during 1777. Since then, the seal has only undergone very minor changes. You can see the state seal feature on the state flag, which also includes the state’s coat of arms.

What does New Jersey’s state seal show? The state seal is a charming representation of the state’s development over the past several decades, paying homage to significant events that have built the state to what we know today. The three plows on the shield display the agricultural tradition within the state, the helmet above the shield displays sovereignty, and the crest above the helmet is a horse’s head, which is the symbol of New Jersey and subsequent official state animal.

New Jersey seal

The Great Seal Of The State of New Jersey

The two female figures that feature on the state seal are Liberty and Ceres (Roman Goddess of Grain, which is a symbol of abundance). Liberty carries the liberty cap on her staff and Ceres holds a cornucopia which has been filled with harvest produce. The banner that they are stood on contains the state motto, “Liberty and Prosperity”, and the official year New Jersey became an official state 1776.

This state seal, as previously mentioned, has not undergone many changes over the years, perhaps the most significant was that in the original seal design, Liberty held her staff in the crook of her arm, rather than her right hand. Both women originally were facing away from the shield too, not face-on like you see today.

State seals are a fantastic way of taking a glance into the history of each state, and what were perhaps the most significant economic contributers several hundred years ago. The Garden State is certainly no different!