Seal of Texas

Last updated
Official seal of Texas
Seal of Texas.svg
Reverse of the Seal of Texas.svg
Armiger State of Texas
Motto Remember the Alamo
Texas One and Indivisible
UseObverse: All Government purposes
Reverse: Texas Legislative Medal of Honor
National Coat of Arms of Texas (1839-1845)
Coat of arms of the Republic of Texas.svg
State Arms of Texas.svg
Texas state coat of arms (illustrated, 1876).jpg
Texas state historical coat of arms (illustrated, 1876)
Armiger State of Texas
Adopted1845 (1839) [1]

The Seal of the State of Texas was adopted through the 1845 Texas Constitution, and was based on the seal of the Republic of Texas, which dates from January 25, 1839. [2]

Republic of Texas independent sovereign nation in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846

The Republic of Texas was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846. It was bordered by Mexico to the west and southwest, the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast, the two U.S. states of Louisiana and Arkansas to the east and northeast, and United States territories encompassing parts of the current U.S. states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to the north and west. The citizens of the republic were known as Texians.



The official artwork, drawn by Juan Vega of Round Rock, Texas, was adopted in 1992 by Secretary of State John Hannah, Jr. [3] The seal has specified wording on both the obverse and reverse sides.

Round Rock, Texas City in Texas, United States

Round Rock is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, in Williamson County, which is a part of the Greater Austin, Texas metropolitan area. The population was 99,887 at the 2010 census.

Secretary of State of Texas member of the executive department of the state of Texas

The Texas Secretary of State is one of the six members of the executive department of the state of Texas, in the United States. Under the Texas Constitution, the appointment is made by the Governor, with confirmation by the Texas Senate. Rolando Pablos is the 111th person to hold the office. He was appointed by Greg Abbott, and sworn in on January 6, 2017. Pablos has announced his resignation, effective December 15, 2018.

Obverse and reverse Front and back side of coins, medals, orders of merit, and paper bills

Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags, seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse means the back face. The obverse of a coin is commonly called heads, because it often depicts the head of a prominent person, and the reverse tails.

Seal obverse

The Texas Constitution states, "There shall be a seal of the State, which shall be kept by the Governor and used by him officially. The seal shall have a star of five points, encircled by olive and live oak branches, and the words 'the State of Texas.'" [4]

Olive Species of plant

The olive, known by the botanical name Olea europaea, meaning "European olive", is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, found in the Mediterranean Basin from Portugal to the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and southern Asia as far east as China, as well as the Canary Islands and Réunion. The species is cultivated in many places and considered naturalized in all the countries of the Mediterranean coast, as well as in Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Java, Norfolk Island, California, and Bermuda. Olea europaea is the type species for the genus Olea.

Live oak Evergreen plants in the genus Quercus

Live oak or evergreen oak is any of a number of oaks in several different sections of the genus Quercus that share the characteristic of evergreen foliage. These oaks are not more closely related to each other than they are to other oaks.

Seal reverse

The reverse of the seal was adopted in 1961 has a more detailed design, which is similar to other coat of arms found in Latin America; The original 1961 act of legislature which established it was unusual in that the act didn't actually define the reverse seal and was simply a picture of the design; It wasn't until 1991 that the seal was actually defined in writing by law as follows:

[T]he design for the reverse side of the Great Seal of Texas shall consist of a shield, the lower half of which is divided into two parts; on the shield's lower left is a depiction of the cannon of the Battle of Gonzales; on the shield's lower right is a depiction of Vince's Bridge; on the upper half of the shield is a depiction of the Alamo; the shield is circled by live oak and olive branches, and the unfurled flags of the Kingdom of France, the Kingdom of Spain, the United Mexican States, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America; above the shield is emblazoned the motto, "REMEMBER THE ALAMO", and beneath the shield are the words, "TEXAS ONE AND INDIVISIBLE"; over the entire shield, centered between the flags, is a white five-pointed star. [1]

Battle of Gonzales first military engagement of the Texas Revolution

The Battle of Gonzales was the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution. It was fought near Gonzales, Texas, on October 2, 1835, between rebellious Texian settlers and a detachment of Mexican army soldiers.

Vince's Bridge was a wooden bridge constructed by Allen Vince over Sims Bayou near Harrisburg, Texas. Its destruction by Texas armed forces played a critical role during the April 1836 Battle of San Jacinto in the decisive defeat of the Mexican army, which effectively ended the Texas Revolution. Located on the most likely possible route of escape for Antonio López de Santa Anna and his column of the Mexican army, the burning of Vince's Bridge helped prevent his soldiers from reaching the safety of nearby reinforcements.

Alamo Mission in San Antonio famous fort in San Antonio, Texas

The Alamo Mission in San Antonio, commonly called The Alamo and originally known as the Misión San Antonio de Valero, is a historic Spanish mission and fortress compound founded in the 18th century by Roman Catholic missionaries in what is now San Antonio, Texas, United States. It was the site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. Today it is a museum in the Alamo Plaza Historic District and a part of the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site.

The Original seal pictured in the 1961 act had an Army of Tennessee Confederate battle flag representing the C.S.A.; the law was amended in 1991 replacing the flag representing the Confederate States of America by the first national flag known as the "Stars and Bars", [5] The Original seal


The seal of Texas has changed 5 times since independence from Mexico in 1836. The original Great Seal of the Republic was created on December 10, 1836, by the Congress, with a bill providing that "for the future the national seal of this republic shall consist of a single star, with the letters 'Republic of Texas', circular on said seal, which seal shall also be circular". After initial hopes for the quick annexation of Texas into the United States grew dim, the Third Congress modified the seal and created a national arms in 1839. The bill stated, "The national arms of the Republic of Texas be, and the same is hereby declared to be a white star of five points, on an azure ground, encircled by an olive and live oak branches", as well as that "The national great seal of this Republic shall, from and after the passage of this act, bear the arms of this nation ..., and the letters 'Republic of Texas'". When Texas joined the Union in 1845, the new state constitution retained the seal, changing only the word "Republic" to "State", and removed the background from the arms. It was not until 1992 that the seal and arms were standardized to reflect the specific language in the constitution and removing the various superfluous symbols and errors that were found on a majority of seals at the time. Despite this as of 2017 a majority of state offices use seals based on older unstandardized seals with Post Oak leaves instead of the specified Live Oak leaves.

The 1956 Martinez Art

On November 19, 1946, the Pentagon's National Guard Bureau advised all states that the United States Air Force wanted state national guard aircraft to have identifying insignia on the fuselage. The Texas Adjutant General's Department decided to use the state seal as the identifying insignia. The department's chief engineer, Colonel Maybin H. Wilson, researched the design of the seal with the assistance of Werner W. Dornberger, an architectural engineering professor at The University of Texas; Bertha Brandt, assistant archivist of the state library; and Dorman Winfrey, archivist of The University of Texas. In 1956, Octavio A. Martinez, an architectural engineering student at The University of Texas, prepared an eighteen and three-fourth inch watercolor of the seal. This design was faithful to the constitutional description and omitted erroneous details that had crept into the seal over the years, such as the addition of stars and diamonds in the bottom of the seal's outer ring and the use of post oak leaves instead of live oak leaves. Unfortunately, the original Martinez watercolor has been lost. [6]

Government seals of Texas

There are also numerous seals of the different departments of Texas government, including seals for the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor. They are all based upon the state seal of Texas.

County symbols

General state law does not require counties to adopt a seal. However, laws do provide seals for the County Commissioners' Court, County Clerk, and other county offices. Until 1975, the Commissioners' Court seal consisted of a star with five points and the words, "Commissioners Court, ---- County, Texas". A Commissioners' Court may now select its own seal design, with the approval of the Texas Secretary of State.

Counties commonly have a seal or symbol to identify the county unofficially. Many have adopted symbols with the lone star and live oak/olive branches in the center. Some counties have maintained "The State of Texas" at the top, while adding the county name below, while others have replaced "The State of Texas" with the county name, with some adding the year of county establishment at the bottom.

Notable exceptions include Harris County (which uses a symbol with the flag of Texas in the center) and Collin County (which uses a Texas Flag in a stylized C).

See also

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  1. 1 2 "The Texas State Seal". The Secretary of State. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
  2. "Flag and Seal Design by Peter Krag, approved January 25, 1839". Texas State Library & Archives Commission. 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
  3. "The State Seal of Texas" . Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  4. Texas Constitution, Article 4, Section 19.
  5. "Flags of the Confederacy".
  6. "The Texas State Seal".