Talk:Seal of Ohio

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Higher-quality version[edit]

For anyone interested, there's an updated rendition of the Great Seal at [1], as shown at the Ohio Department of Transportation's website [2]. (There's also a cruder version here.) Having grown up in Ohio, I've seen this version, with the Scioto River flowing across the center of the design, a lot more often. It also states that the words "The Great Seal of the State of Ohio" has to be in "news gothic". (Previous designs were in a serif typeface.) In fact, this is the version that is featured on any Ohio state agency's website, for example on the state's front page [3]. The Ohio Historical Society also agrees [4].

So, although the image featured in article is quite beautiful, it's not accurate, and should be replaced with either [5] or something similar.

 – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 03:56, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Respectfully, I disagree about the image's accuracy. As is stated in the article, Ohio's legislature has defined Ohio's Great Seal in the Ohio Revised Code, chapter 5, section 10. This article's current image matches the image included in that section, and therefore it is accurate (if the online ORC's version is accurate).
It is interesting that the images you have found at the DoT, state, and OHS websites are different, but they do appear to "correspond substantially" to the legislature's design, so the perpetrators are unlikely to be found guilty of section 99: "Whoever violates section 5.10 of the Revised Code shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both." JonathanFreed 17:16, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I've seen the image that's attached to the statute in at Anderson's Online Docs, but my guess is that they don't update the attachments as often as they update the text. A tell-tale sign that the image there is an older version is its use of a serif typeface for the words surrounding the seal; the statute says that it must be in "news gothic" – sans-serif, that is. It also requires three-quarters of a sun rising in the background, which I don't see in the version here. I guess "corresponding substantially" is a bit subjective, but the placement of the seal's elements that I'm arguing for has been standard for a long time, and the first time I noticed this image, I was a bit surprised that it looked so different (albeit quite beautiful).
I don't think that Anderson's is guilty of anything; it's probably just an outdated version, as opposed to taking liberties with the statute. It's important to note that Anderson's is not a state agency; it's simply a division of LexisNexis that hosts copies of state legislation, and it's entirely possible that that's where Encarta got the design for the seal as well. [6] Please note the consistency with which the state government uses the design I'm arguing for, since all state agencies, all the way down to the Board of Optometry [7] have to use the state seal). Only local governments and the Ohio State Parks Division have copies of the other version on their sites – but the Parks Division's emblem includes the less beautiful design.
Also, when I said I grew up with the version I call "newer", I forgot to mention that my teachers had us all color the state seal from time to time when learning about the state. [8] I'll do some more research, but as far as I can tell, my arguments still stand.
 – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 19:47, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Ah, I've finally found a physical representation of the seal: [9][10]. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 20:10, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I still respectfully disagree with Mxn, and now with Durin (see article edit history), regarding which image of the seal accurately portrays Ohio's current great seal. As I stated above, the seal is defined in O.R.C. 5.10. To my knowledge, all State of Ohio web sites refer people to the Anderson Publishing / LexisNexis web site for viewing the most up-to-date version of Ohio's Revised Code. The image of the seal on the Anderson Publishing web site at O.R.C. 5.10 corresponds to the "Seal_of_ohio.gif" image here on Wikipedia. It is not the same as images that Mxn and Durin have promoted. JonathanFreed 06:37, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I've submitted a question through the Ohio Secretary of State's web site regarding what image is most up-to-date: the image that he uses on his web site, or the image at Anderson Publishing's Ohio Revised Code web site that he points people toward. I doubt that I will get a response, but we shall see. JonathanFreed 08:57, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
FYI, I still have not received a response. JonathanFreed 03:25, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Apparently the Secretary of State's office uses the same seal offline as it does online. [11][12] [13][14] So does the Governor's office. [15][16] [17][18] [19][20] [21][22] Additionally, various government agencies use the black-and-white version of this seal when presenting press releases from the Governor's office. [23][24][25] And one more thing: my driver's license has multiple holographs of that seal on it. (The Bureau of Motor Vehicles exclusively uses the version I've been promoting. [26][27])
That's about as official as it gets, barring a response from them.
 – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 06:36, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
An information panel in the 2007-2009 Ohio Official Transportation Map, published by ODOT, also uses the seal I was pushing for. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 19:45, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

I'll try to summarize things a bit; feel free to add to the table ("Current version" refers to Seal of ohio.png, and "Proposed version" refers to Huy hiệu Ohio.gif):

Seal usage by the Ohio State Government
Top-level office, department, board, or commission Division, bureau, or office Version Used
Governor Proposed version on website, in official documents[28][29][30][31]
Attorney-General Proposed version online and in publications and official documents
Auditor of State Proposed version online and in publications
Secretary of State Proposed version at press conferences, and in publications[32]
Treasurer of State Proposed version online (with star and state motto in banner below)
Department of Commerce Current version online
Department of Commerce Division of Securities Proposed version online
Department of Commerce Division of State Fire Marshal Current version on the website, but proposed version in publications and legally-binding documents
Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation Current version online, but proposed version for division seal
Department of Public Safety Bureau of Motor Vehicles Proposed version in official forms[33][34], license plates
Department of Transportation Proposed version in official state highway map
Department of Insurance Current version in forms
Department of Job and Family Services Proposed version online
Department of MRDD Proposed version in publications
Board of Deposit Proposed version in publications
Board of Optometry Proposed version online (with the star from a previous design, perhaps pre-1996?)
Public Utilities Commission Proposed version in brochures, other publications, and legally-binding documents
Air Quality Development Authority Proposed version online and in publications
Building Authority Proposed version online
Civil Rights Commission Proposed version online
Office of Information Technology Proposed version online and in publications
Office of Inspector General Current version online, but proposed version in publications
Elections Commission Proposed version online
Naval Militia Current version online
Pharmacy Board Proposed version online
Board of Tax Appeals Current version online
Department of Youth Services Proposed version online
Utility Radiological Safety Board Proposed version online and in publications
Governor's Office of Veterans' Affairs Proposed version online
Public Defender's Office Proposed version online
Personnel Board of Review Proposed version online
Power Siting Board Proposed version online and in publications
Military Reserve Current version online
Hispanic/Latino Affairs Commission Proposed version online
Accountancy Board Proposed version online and in legally-binding documents
Supreme Court Proposed version online and in publications
Court of Claims Proposed version online and in legally-binding forms
Courts of Appeal Online: proposed version (1st, 9th, 10th, 12th), both (3rd), current version (4th, 5th, 7th, 8th); behind the bench: proposed version (12th); publications: proposed version (12th)
House of Representatives Proposed version in publications
Senate Proposed version online
(Joint) Committee on Agency Rule Review Current version online and in publications[35]
Legislative Service Commission Proposed version online and in publications
Legislative Service Commission Register Proposed version online
Ohio Historical Society Proposed version online

Also, it's worth noting that the Anderson Publishing site is no longer online and is no longer used by the Ohio government. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 05:09, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Because the Anderson site is no longer used by the Ohio government, I submit that it is time to find another source with we can determine the appropriate seal to use here.
In any case, I object to any version of the seal being called the "JonathanFreed" version. I have never made or claimed to have made or own any version. Mxn, please find a different name for that version. Thank you. JonathanFreed (talk) 05:11, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
I've relabeled it the "Current version". Sorry for associating you with that image, I just needed a short way of referring to it. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 04:01, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

U.S. Passports from a few years back were apparently issued with the version I'm proposing on page 17. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 00:34, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Artist's version vs. Official[edit]

I believe this is the answer to the debate above, --Svgalbertian (talk) 18:08, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

To be completely sure, here's the one online copy of the law that includes the "following design" that the seal is supposed to conform to. It's on a personal site, but it's consistent with the Ohio House's online copy of HB 99, one of a few unsuccessful attempts to add a biplane to the seal. Plus, the version on the left has the correct number of arrows: 17, not 12 as on the right. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 03:42, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
The image on the left, however does not have the correct number of sun-beams. As per ORC §5.04 it should have 13. For this reason, I referenced it as the 1967 version in the article.--Svgalbertian (talk) 01:46, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
The Secretary of State's website, along with this student activity booklet, both claim that the 1996 seal has the words "STATE OF OHIO" with seven stars. But a comparison between the current ORC and 125 HB 99 shows a seal identical to File:Ohio state seal.png, with "the words 'THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF OHIO' in news gothic capitals" (ORC §5.10). Any idea why the discrepancy? – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 22:55, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Not sure why, I have noticed other seals flip flop like this. I imagine the difference is 'STATE OF OHIO' is likely for when it is just being used as a symbol to represent the state, and 'THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF OHIO' is for official uses when it carries the full weight of the law. Officialy it is 'THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF OHIO' (ORC §5.10).--Svgalbertian (talk) 01:46, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Mystery seal[edit]

An additional design is available at USF (black and white) and Heraldry of the World (color). The USF page erroneously credits The Century Dictionary's entry on "great seal" (nothing specifically related to Ohio), while the HotW entry claims that this design dates to 1867, but that's when the fanciful Imperium in imperio seal was used. Any information regarding this riverless design would be appreciated. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 08:10, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

For some more history give pages 12 to 14 of this document a read. The seal was designed in 1803 by William Creighton. The first legislature passed an act on March 25, 1803 to define the seal as follows:

On the right side, near the bottom, a sheaf of wheat, and on the left a bundle of seventeen arrows, both standing erect; in the background, and rising above the sheaf and arrows, a mountain, over which shall appear a rising sun. The state seal to be surrounded by these words: 'The Great Seal of the State of Ohio.'

According to this an 'official' engraving was made in 1806, which remained in force till 1866. The offical 'engraving' diverted from the orginal law, so the act was updated in April 6, 1866.

The coat-of-arms of the State of Ohio shall consist of the following device: A shield, upon which shall be engraved on the left in the foreground, a bundle of seventeen arrows; to the right of the arrows, a sheaf of wheat, both standing erect; in the background, and rising above the sheaf and arrows, a range of mountains, over which shall appear a rising sun; between the base of the mountains and the arrows and the sheaf, in the left foreground, a river shall be represented flowing toward the right foreground. At the bottom of the shield there shall be a motto, in these words: "Imperium in imperio."

In May 9, 1868 they updated the law because they did not like the motto "Imperium in imperio". The update took the design back to the 1803 version.

That the coat-of-arms of the State of Ohio shall consist of the following device: A shield, in form of a circle. On it, in the foreground, on the right, a sheaf of wheat; on the left, a bundle of seventeen arrows, both standing erect; in the background, and rising above the sheaf and arrows, a mountain range, over which shall appear a rising sun.

In 1967 an act was introduced to standarize the seal [1]. In 1996 the design updated again with the following law[2].

The coat of arms of the state shall consist of the following device: a circular shield; in the right foreground of the shield a full sheaf of wheat bound and standing erect; in the left foreground, a cluster of seventeen arrows bound in the center and resembling in form the sheaf of wheat; in the background, a representation of Mount Logan, Ross county, as viewed from Adena state memorial; over the mount, a rising sun three-quarters exposed and radiating thirteen rays to represent the thirteen original colonies shining over the first state in the northwest territory, the exterior extremities of which rays form a semicircle; and uniting the background and foreground, a representation of the Scioto river and cultivated fields.

The coat of arms of the state shall correspond substantially with the following design:

When the coat of arms of the state is reproduced in color, the colors used shall be substantially the same as the natural color of the terrain and objects shown.

In regards to the riverless version. A river is not mentioned in the 1803 or 1868 act, so an offical rendering could be made without it. If you look back at the the PDF, they have a similair riverless version credited as '1965 Offical Painting'. It is likely that 'riverless' design pre-dated 1965, given that the 1967 version was to 'reign in the design', suggesting there were many versions in use.--Svgalbertian (talk) 18:46, 17 October 2010 (UTC)


File:Seal of Ohio.svg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]

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As viewed From[edit]

the text says:

a representation of Mount Logan, Ross County, as viewed from the Adena Mansion;

While true, it is an anachronism, as Adena Mansion did not exist in 1803.

Needs more clear wording.

perhaps "as viewed from where Adena Mansion would later sit;"

And what's with the semicolons? Commas are a perfectly acceptable punctuation.

Roseohioresident (talk) 19:56, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

The current seal is often said to be a view from the Adena property – not necessarily the mansion, I suppose. In any case, the original seal was adopted in 1803, when Chillicothe was still the capital of Ohio. So it depicts a scene from the Chillicothe area, generally speaking. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 04:12, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
[36] states specifically that the view was from "Thomas Worthington's home, Belle View, later Adena". – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 11:06, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Origin of the Artist's Version[edit]

This blog post by the State Auditor talks identifies Carl Weisgerber, a Cincinnati commercial artist, as the person who painted the Seal of the Auditor, which includes the same colorful coat of arms as the Artist's Version. Not sure if they also painted the Artist's Version itself. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 22:43, 30 December 2014 (UTC)