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Adopted in 1928.
New Jersey's state seal was designed by Pierre Eugene du Simitiere and presented in May, 1777, to the Legislature, which was then meeting in the Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield.
The three plows in the shield honor the state's agricultural tradition. The helmet above the shield faces forward, an attitude denoting sovereignty and thus particularly fitting for one of the first governments created under the notion that the state itself is the sovereign. The crest above the helmet is a horse's head.
The supporting female figures are Liberty and Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain, symbolizing abundance. Liberty, on the viewer's left, carries the liberty cap on her staff. Ceres holds a cornucopia filled with harvested produce.
Although the Seal's major elements have kept their relative positions for more than 200 years, there have been a number of lesser changes. The staff that Liberty now holds with her right hand she once held in the crook of her left arm. While the female figures now face straight ahead, they at one time looked away from the shield. The cornucopia that Ceres now holds upright was once inverted, its open end upon the ground. The Seal was redesigned in accordance with Joint Resolution 8 of the Laws of 1928. It was then that the year of statehood, 1776, first appeared in Arabic figures.
Legal Description of State Seal
52:2-1. Description of great seal of state. The great seal of this state shall be engraved on silver, which shall be round, of two and a half inches in diameter and three-eighths of an inch thick; the arms shall be three ploughs in an escutcheon, azure; supporters, Liberty and Ceres. The Goddess Liberty to carry in her dexter hand a pole, proper, surmounted by a cap gules, with band azure at the bottom, displaying on the band six stars, argent; tresses falling on shoulders, proper; head bearing over all a chaplet of laurel leaves, vert; overdress, tenne; underskirt, argent; feet sandaled, standing on scroll. Ceres: Same as Liberty, save overdress, gules; holding in left hand a cornucopia, or, bearing apples, plums and grapes surrounded by leaves, all proper; head bearing over all a chaplet of wheat spears, vert. Shield surmounted by sovereign's helmet, six bars, or; wreath and mantling, argent and azure. Crest: A horse's head, proper. Underneath the shield and supporting the
goddesses, a scroll azure, bordered with tenne, in three waves or folds; on the upper folds the words "Liberty and Prosperity" ; on the under fold in Arabic numerals, the figures "1776" . These words to be engraved round the arms, viz., "The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey" .