Great-Seal

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Great seals of the three Kings: Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V

-Richard II of England - RICARDVS DEI GRACIA REX FRANCIE ET ANGLIE ET D[OMI]N[V]S HIBERNIE
Richard, by the grace of God, King of France and England and Lord of Ireland

-Henry IV of England - HENRICVS DEI GRACIA REX FRANCIE ET ANGLIE ET D[OMI]N[V]S HIBERNIE
Henry, by the grace of God, King of France and England and Lord of Ireland

-Henry V of England - HENRICVS DEI GRACIA REX FRANCIE ET ANGLIE ET D[OMI]N[V]S HIBERNIE / HENRICVS DEI GRACIA REX ANGLIE ET FRANCIE ET DOMINUS HIBERNIE 

Henry, by the grace of God, King of France and England and Lord of Ireland / Henry, by the grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland


Edward the Confessor, sometime before A.D. 1066, started using a “Great Seal” casting in wax of his own visage to signify that a document carried the force of his will. With some exceptions, each subsequent British monarch has chosen his or her own design for the Great Seal.

Images from: Luminarium.org

                                             Annuit Coeptis


“He approves our undertakings”

It was placed on the back of the Great Seal of the United States in 1782, to symbolize our desire to be a nation of reason, faith, and science.   The symbology lies in the pyramid.  For example, if you are standing on one side of the pyramid, you can’t see what’s going on on the other side.  The more you climb, the easier it is to see, and when you reach the top, you become enlightened.  You see all angles, you understand all things.

“For my own part I wish the Eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead tree near the river, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.”
“With all this injustice, he is never in good case but like those among men who live by sharping & robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our country…”
“I am on this account not displeased that the figure [on the Great Seal] is not known as a Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the truth the Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America…He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.”
Benjamin Franklin