States like Virginia have their own official state seal, motto, nickname, and more, which are all used to symbolize and represent the uniqueness of each state and what they stand for.

The state seal of Virginia is based on a design that was originally thought of in the convention of 1776. The quote that came with the adoption of the Virginia state seal is:

“Virtus, the genius of the commonwealth, dressed like an Amazon, resting on a spear with one hand, and holding a sword in other, and treading on tyranny, represented by a man prostrate, a crown fallen from his head, a broken chain in his left hand and a scourge in his right. In the exergon the word Virginia over the head of Virtus, and underneath the motto “Sic Semper Tyrannis.”

Virginia state seal

Since the Virginia state seal’s inception it has remained relatively unchanged, although at the beginning of the American Civil War, unionists in the west of the region established the restored government of Virginia, then adding the words “Liberty and Union” to both sides of the seal. In 1873, these words were removed yet again.

State seals are a fantastic way of diving deep into the history of a state, with each Virginia state symbol showcasing a story derived from a state’s rich and historical past.