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Seal of West Virginia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Great Seal of the State of West Virginia
Seal of West Virginia.svg
Seal of West Virginia (Reverse).gif
West Virginia state coat of arms (illustrated, 1876).jpg
Historical coat of arms (illustrated, 1876)
ArmigerState of West Virginia
MottoMontani Semper Liberi
Libertas E Fidelitate

The Great Seal of the State of West Virginia was adopted in September 1863.[1] The obverse center of the seal contains a boulder that has been inscribed June 20, 1863, the date West Virginia became a state. In front of the boulder lie two crossed rifles and a liberty cap as a symbol of the state's fight for liberty. The two men on either side of the boulder represent agriculture and industry. On the left stands a farmer with an ax and plow before a cornstalk. On the other side stands a miner with a pickax, and behind him an anvil and sledge hammer. The outer ring contains the text "State of West Virginia" and the state's motto "Montani Semper Liberi", ("Mountaineers are Always Free"; the state nickname is "the Mountain State"). The reverse of the seal, also called the lesser seal, is the official seal of the Governor. Its motto reads "Libertas E Fidelitate" ("Liberty out of Fidelity").[2]

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  • ✪ West Virginia's Flag and its Story
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West Virginia was originally a part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but separated during the Civil War to remain part of the Union, while the southern portion of the state remained Virginia and joined the Confederacy. West Virginia was admitted as the 35th state in 1863 and remained a key border state until the end of the American Civil War. A 35th star was added to the national flag in 1863 and West Virginia continued to see changes in the national flag until the present 50 star flag. The state flag of West Virginia was adopted in 1929 and consists of a white field with a dark blue border. In the center is the state’s coat of arms. The words State of West Virginia appear in an orange banner above. Within the shield is a farmer to the left and a miner to the right. A large ivy draped rock bears the date of the state’s admission to the Union. In front of the rock are two rifles upon which sit a Phrygian cap, a symbol of liberty. Rhododendron, the state flower, encircles the lower half of the coat of arms. The white of the flag represents purity, while the blue border represents the Union. The state motto in Latin appears in another banner, which translates to “Mountaineers are always free.” If you enjoyed this video, be sure to hit the like button and subscribe to our channel for future videos. You can also like our Facebook page for updates there. You can check out another video on the state flag of Nevada right here. Thanks for watching.


Montani Semper Liberi (Latin for "Mountaineers are Always Free") was adopted as the official motto of West Virginia in Article II, Section 2-7, of the state constitution signed in 1872. This article specifically states: "[t]he present seal of the state, with its motto, "Montani Semper Liberi," shall be the great seal of the state of West Virginia, and shall be kept by the secretary of state, to be used by him officially, as directed by law".[3] The phrase was suggested as the motto by Joseph H. Diss Debar, the artist who created the state's Great Seal.

Montani Semper Liberi is also part of the coat of arms for the Colombian city of Bucaramanga.


  1. ^ "West Virginia Statistical Information" (PDF). State of West Virginia. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Constitution of West Virginia". West Virginia Legislature. Retrieved 2014-06-20.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 September 2020, at 00:12
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