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Overview
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Design Process
 1st Committee
 2nd Committee
 3rd Committee
 Final Design
 Description
 Explanation

Latin Mottoes
 E Pluribus Unum
 Annuit Coeptis
 Novus Ordo Seclorum

Symbols (front)
 Bald Eagle
 Shield
 Olive Branch
 Arrows
 Stars
 Rays of Light
 Cloud

Symbols (back)
 Pyramid
 Eye
 MDCCLXXVI

Great Seals
 Official Dies
  Pendant Seals
 First Engravings
 First Painting
 1792 Medal
 Indian Medals
 1882 Medal
 One-Dollar Bill
 Bicentennial
 United Seal
 Eagle Rising

Myths
 Eagle Side
 Pyramid Side

Themes
 Unity
 Peace
 Liberty
 Thirteen

Related
 Wild Turkey
 President's Seal
 Sightings

Pendant Seals

Pendant Seal Hanging Seal

When Congress adopted the Great Seal in 1782, "pendant" (also called "hanging") seals were in use. A wax disk was attached to the document by ribbons or cords. The disk had two sides, thus the need for a reverse side of a seal.

Because no die for the reverse was ever cut, only the obverse side was used on the few occasions when pendant seals were employed before being discontinued in 1871.

Today only the obverse side (which is also the U.S. coat of arms) is impressed onto a paper wafer that is glued to the document.