Mountains, mining, agriculture featured prominently on Nevada’s state seal

Editor’s Note: Nevada 150 is a yearlong series highlighting the people, places and things that make up the history of the state.

A range of snowcapped mountains rests in the background, with the sun rising in the east. In the middle, a train passes a mountain gorge, and a telegraph line extends along the railroad.

To the right, a quartz mill sits at the base of a mountain. On the left, a tunnel disappears into another mountain while a miner moves a carload of ore from the mine. Below, his team moves a carload of ore toward the mill. In the foreground, a plow, sheaf and sickle represent Nevada’s agricultural resources. Thirty-six stars circle around the interior design, and the motto, “All for Our Country,” rests at the bottom of the stars. The words “The Great Seal of the State of Nevada” are engraved on the perimeter, with “Nevada” at the base of the seal and separated from the other words by two groups of three stars each.

This is the Great Seal of the State of Nevada, the 36th state to join the Union.

In 1861, the Territorial Legislature approved the seal’s description for the Territory of Nevada. The Territorial Seal included the motto “Volens et Potens,” which means “Willing and Able,” expressing the ideas of loyalty to the Union and the mineral wealth to sustain it.

In mid-1864, Nevada’s Constitutional Convention adopted a description of the features to be placed on Nevada’s Great Seal.

In 1866, the Legislature changed the seal’s motto to “All for Our Country.”

In 1969, Nevada Revised Statutes 235.010 was amended by Assembly Bill 157 to make the legal description conform to the features of the seal.

In 1999, the Nevada Legislature formally defined in the Nevada Revised Statutes the colors of the seal, which primarily are yellow and blue. Also, the seal must not be more than 2¾ inches in diameter.

Two large metal versions of the seal may be found on both the north and south exterior faces of the Legislative Building, a gift from the Government of Taiwan to the Nevada Legislature. Taiwan was designated as Nevada’s sister state in 1985.

The seal is used by the governor and the secretary of state. Reproductions only may be used with written permission of the governor.