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Old 07-03-2009, 08:20 PM
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Play The Man Play The Man is offline
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Originally Posted by Tyburn
now...whose going to explain what all the parts of the Seal actually mean
The bald eagle is our national symbol. The eagle clutches 13 arrows in his left talon (13 original states) and in the right talon is an olive branch. The olive branch symbolizes peace and the arrows symbolize the willingness to fight a war if necessary ("Si vis pacem, para bellum"). The eagle looks toward the right, meaning we prefer peace to war. In the eagle's beak is a banner with our national motto: "E pluribus unum" meaning "out of many, one". The shield on the eagle's chest has 13 stripes (13 original states again) and there are 13 stars and 13 clouds above the eagle's head (notice a pattern?). Fifty stars ring the periphery of the seal, symbolizing the current 50 states (perhaps Obama will increase this to 57).

The Presidential Seal is heavily influenced by the Great Seal of the US. Here is an official explanation of the Great Seal symbolism provided by the Congress in June 1782:

The Escutcheon is composed of the chief & pale, the two most honorable ordinaries. The Pieces, paly, represent the several states all joined in one solid compact entire, supporting a Chief, which unites the whole & represents Congress. The Motto alludes to this union. The pales in the arms are kept closely united by the chief and the Chief depends upon that union & the strength resulting from it for its support, to denote the Confederacy of the United States of America & the preservation of their union through Congress.

The colours of the pales are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valor, and Blue, the colour of the Chief signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice. The Olive branch and arrows denote the power of peace & war which is exclusively vested in Congress. The Constellation denotes a new State taking its place and rank among other sovereign powers. The Escutcheon is born on the breast of an American Eagle without any other supporters to denote that the United States of America ought to rely on their own Virtue.
"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."
--Hugh Latimer, October 16, 1555
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