The Great Seal of the State of Vermont is the official seal of the U.S. state of Vermont, used to emboss and authenticate official documents.
The seal, displayed only in black and white or in monochromatic blind embossing, depicts a 14-branched pine tree rising from the forest, with two grain sheaves above. The 14 branches symbolize the Thirteen Colonies and Vermont as the 14th state admitted to the union. A cow on the right, representing Vermont's history of dairy farming, also appears. On the top of the seal are wavy lines, possibly suggesting clouds; on the bottom wavy lines suggest water. It is believed that the two sets of wavy lines might also suggest the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain, today Vermont's east and west borders. The passage "Freedom & Unity"—Vermont's state motto—is centered below the state name. The motto is central to the Vermont ideal of balancing personal freedom with the individual's responsibility to their community. The seal was first used by the government of the independent Vermont Republic as it existed prior to admission to the Union.
Intended for use to emboss official documents, the seal is not intended for decorative use, the single exception being a large version carved in hardwood and affixed to the Vermont Pavilion at the Expo 67 World's Fair. That seal was later used as a backdrop behind the podium in the Vermont State House Press Briefing Room, which is now the minority party's caucus room. The large wooden Great Seal of Vermont has been moved to the working offices of the governor of Vermont at The Pavilion.
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