Pennsylvania State Symbols

Each state in the United States of America is unique. The people and legislature of Pennsylvania have selected the following state symbols to represent their state's individual environment and culture.

The Pennsylvania State Seal

[Image of The Pennsylvania State Seal]

The Pennsylvania state seal has two faces the obverse is most often referred to as the "state seal" the reverse (counter-seal) is used less frequently to authenticate documents.

Obverse - the main face of the seal is identical to the coat of arms, without the horses. The shield displays a sailing ship (carrying state commerce to all parts of the world), a clay-red plough (signifying our rich natural resources), and three sheaves of wheat (suggesting fertile fields and Pennsylvania's wealth of human thought and action).

To the left of the shield is a stalk of Indian corn to the right, an olive branch (signifying peace and prosperity). The shield's crest is an eagle and the inscription ôSeal of the State of Pennsylvania encircles the design."

Reverse - the counter-seal portrays liberty vs. tyranny. A woman represents liberty - her left hand holds a wand topped by a liberty cap (a French symbol of liberty), her right hand a drawn sword. She is trampling upon Tyranny, represented by a lion. The entire design is encircled by the legend "Both Can't Survive."

The 50 State Seals

The Pennsylvania State Flag

[Image of The Pennsylvania State Flag]

Pennsylvania's State Flag is more of a square than a rectangle. It is composed of a blue field on which the State Coat of Arms is embroidered. Draft horses are on either side of the coat of arms and the American eagle rests on the top. The scroll at the bottom reads Virtue, Liberty and Independence.

The first state flag bearing the state coat of arms was authorized by the general assembly in 1799. An act of the general assembly of June 13, 1907, standardized the flag and required that the blue field match the blue of "Old Glory".

The 50 State Flags

Other State Symbols

  • Animal: White-tailed Deer
  • Beautification plant: Penngift Crownvetch
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Dog: Great Dane
  • Fish: Brook Trout
  • Flower: Mountain Laurel
  • Fossil: Phacops rana
  • Game bird: Ruffed Grouse
  • Insect: Pennsylvania Firefly
  • Motto: Virtue, Liberty, and Independence
  • Nickname: Keystone State
  • Song: Pennsylvania
  • Tree: Eastern Hemlock

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