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The Great Seal of the State of California
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The Great Seal

     The Constitutional Convention of 1849 adopted a "Great Seal of the State of California." The seal was designed by Major Robert Selden Garnett of the United States Army, and presented to the convention by Caleb Lyon, one of the clerks of the convention. The explanation accompanying the seal, as read to the convention on October 2, 1849, is as follows:
     "Around the bevel of the ring are represented thirty-one stars being the number of states of which the union will consist upon the admission of California." "The foreground figure represents the Goddess Minerva having sprung full grown from the brain of Jupiter. She is introduced as a type of the political birth of the State of California without having gone through the probation of a Territory. At her feet crouches a grizzly bear feeding upon clusters from a grape vine emblematic of the peculiar characteristics of the country. A miner is engaged in a rocker and bowl at his side, illustrating the golden wealth of the Sacramento upon whose waters are seen shipping typical of commercial greatness and the Snow-clad peaks of the Sierra Nevada make up the background while above is the Greek motto 'Eureka' (I have found it) applying either to the principle involved in the admission of the State, or the success of the miner at work."
     An amendment adding the words, "The Great Seal of the State of California," to the design was adopted on October 11, 1849.
     This seal, as designed and submitted to the convention, with some slight changes, has been made the official State Seal by statute and is called "The Great Seal of the State of California."
     The design of the Great Seal of the State shall correspond substantially with above representation.
     The Great Seal is located in the office of the Secretary of State, where its impression is affixed to official state documents.
     Any person who maliciously or for commercial purposes uses or allows to be used any reproduction or facsimile of the Great Seal or the seals of the Senate or Assembly of the State of California in any manner whatsoever is guilty of a misdemeanor.

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