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Overview
Seal FAQs

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
 First Engravings
 First Painting
 1792 Medal
 Indian Medals
 1882 Medal
 One-Dollar Bill

Myths
 Eagle Side
 Pyramid Side

Themes
 Unity
 Peace
 Liberty
 Thirteen

Related
 Wild Turkey
 President's Seal
 Sightings
 Resources


Description of the Reverse side of the Great Seal
Original 1782 description

Symbols on the Reverse Side
of the Great Seal of the United States

Symbols and mottos link to their respective pages.

The reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States is composed of four symbols derived from nature or culture that combine to create a dynamic design whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The imagery is complemented by two mottoes, Annuit Coeptis and Novus Ordo Seclorum.

REVERSE SIDE SYMBOLIC ELEMENTS

  • A Pyramid unfinished

  • An Eye in a triangle surrounded with a glory (rays of light)

  • On the base of the pyramid, the numerical letters MDCCLXXVI


Related Pages



Note: The Great Seal has a reverse side because in the 18th century when it was designed, pendant seals were used. These were in the form of a two-sided disk of wax attached to the document by ribbons or cords.



Historical content is based on the official history of the Great Seal.
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Copyright ©2013 by John D. MacArthur.