The Great Seal of the United
States is used to authenticate certain documents issued by the United
States federal government. The phrase is used both for the physical seal itself
(which is kept by the United States Secretary of State), and more generally for
the design impressed upon it. The Great Seal was first used publicly in 1782.|
The obverse of the great seal is used as the national coat of arms of the United States. It is officially used on documents such as United States passports, military insignia, embassy placards, and various flags. As a coat of arms, the design has official colors; the physical Great Seal itself, as affixed to paper, is monochrome.
Since 1935, both sides of the Great Seal have appeared on the reverse of the one-dollar bill. The Seal of the President of the United States is directly based on the Great Seal, and its elements are used in numerous government agency and state seals.
On July 4, 1776, the same day that independence from Great Britain was declared by the thirteen states, the Continental Congress named the first committee to design a Great Seal, or national emblem, for the country. Similar to other nations, The United States of America needed an official symbol of sovereignty to formalize and seal (or sign) international treaties and transactions. It took six years, three committees, and the contributions of fourteen men before the Congress finally accepted a design (which included elements proposed by each of the three committees) in 1782.
“Went out to Batavia again this morning. Was a little unpleasant this morning but cleared off this afternoon and is very pleasant this evening. I mowed the front yard this evening. Got home from Batavia on the 4:37 train. Before I went to Batavia this morning I took the stowell cow to Will McEwens bull.”