Mel Crawford: Great Seal of Maine
Artist: Mel Crawford
Maine's first official State Seal was adopted by the state legislature in 1820 . . . the year when Maine became America's twenty-third state. Since the seal was requested some time after Maine was granted statehood, it had to be designed very quickly. Unfortunately, due to the haste, the first design actually used was very primitive. Many citizens of Maine vigorously complained about the seal, stating that some of its elements were vague and unrecognizable. After nearly one hundred years of such complaints, a more artistic version of the 1820 seal was re-crafted in 1919 . . . the design that is still in use today. The shield in the center of the seal features a Maine mast pine . . . renowned for its use in sailing masts. Below the tree, a moose represents the state's abundant wildlife. On the left, the farmer with a scythe denotes agriculture, and the sailor, leaning on an anchor, symbolizes the fishing and shipping industries of Maine. The state motto, Dirigo . . . meaning "I Guide" . . . appears near the top of the seal, just below a depiction of the North Star. The star, together with the motto, suggests that the citizens of Maine look to their state for guidance.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® Great Seal of the State of Maine Commemorative Cover issued March 15, 1984.
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