Great Seal of the Confederate States


Great Seal of the Confederate States
Great Seal of the Confederate States
Seal of the Confederate States of America.svg
Details
Armiger Confederate States of America
Adopted 30 April 1863
Use On treaties, commissions, and more

The Great Seal of the Confederate States was the official seal of the government of the Confederate States of America, which consisted of eleven states that voted to secede from the United States, leading to the American Civil War.

The seal prominently features George Washington on horseback, in the same position as a statue of him in Richmond, Virginia. Washington is surrounded with a wreath, which is made of some of the main agricultural products of the Confederate States: wheat, corn, tobacco, cotton, rice and sugar cane. The margin of the seal features the words "The Confederate States of America: 22 February 1862" and the national motto, Deo Vindice ("Under God, Our Vindicator" or "With God as [our] Champion"). The date on the seal represents when Jefferson Davis was inaugurated after the only Confederate general election, and is also Washington's birthday.

The design of the seal was finalized on April 30, 1863, and a set of embossing dies ordered from the London engraver Joseph S. Wyon.[1] The seal dies eventually reached Richmond before the end of the war. However, due to the risks of running the naval blockade upon the Confederacy, the accompanying embossing press was only shipped as far as Bermuda. The dies (crafted in silver) were thus unlikely to ever have been used in any official capacity.

Both sets of artifacts initially passed through private ownership before ultimately entering museum collections. The dies now reside in Richmond's Museum of the Confederacy; and the embossing press, equipped with brass replica dies, is in a National Trust Museum in St. George's, Bermuda.

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