June 20, 1782 ~ The Great Seal of the USA Adopted

Today in 1782 after 6-years, 3 separate committees, & a plethora of concepts, one man cut through the #redtape and submitted a design to the Continental Congress for the Great Seal of the #USA: It was accepted & adopted the same day #perseverance #AmericanEagleDay #HistoryBites

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.

The original committee included Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. ultimately, with the exception of the the “Eye of Providence”, and the motto E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One), Congress wasn’t impressed, and dissolved the committee.

It would take 6 more years and 2 additional committees before Congress scrapped the committees and turned the project over to its Secretary Charles Thomson.

Thomson took elements from all three previous committees, coming up with a new design which provided the basis for the final seal.

It was Thomson who chose to use the American bald eagle holding an olive branch and a bundle of thirteen arrows. The arrows were likely taken from a 1775 South Carolina currency bill that showed a bundle of arrows.

The design was submitted to Congress on June 20, 1782 and was accepted the same day. Thomson included a page of explanatory notes, but no drawing was submitted.

 

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