State Seal

Click on the following items for more information:

* Ships
* State Motto - Eureka
* 31 Stars
* Minerva
* Grizzly Bear
* Gold Miner

State Seal
Grizzly Bear Minerva Gold Miner Ships State Motto 31 Stars Ships

Grizzly Bear

The grizzly bear at the feet of the seated Minerva represents the oldest unofficial state symbol for California – the Bear Flag. This majestic State Animal, now lost to us, has come to symbolize the state's remarkable wildlife. The bear feeds on grains and grapes, which represent the bountiful produce of the rich farmlands.

Minerva

The Roman goddess of wisdom, craftsmen and warriors, Minerva was fully born as an adult. She symbolizes California's political birth as a full-fledged state without having previously been a territory. After helping to slay the snakeheaded Medusa, Minerva placed the monster's head on her shield as a sign of her power and a warning to any enemies.

Gold Miner

The miner busy digging the earth for gold with his pick, shovel, pan and rocker represents the extraordinary mineral wealth of California that made it into the “Golden State.” This lone figure stands for the tens of
thousands of Argonauts who rushed into the state to find their fortunes.

Ships

The various sailing ships and steam vessels that lay at anchor before the mighty mountains of the state symbolize the maritime trade and commercial wealth that would make California into the major economic power of today. They also represent one of the means of transportation, along with overland travel, used by “49ers” to reach California.

State Motto

Eureka, the Greek word found at the top of the Seal, means “I have found it.” Legend has it that the word was first uttered by an ancient Greek scientist over two thousand years ago. It is a fitting state motto for
California and the golden wealth that was discovered among its mountains and rivers.

31 Stars

The thirty-one stars that arch over the goddess Minerva symbolize California's entrance into the Union as the thirty-first state in 1850. Her admission would forever break the balance between Northern and Southern states in the U. S. Congress and help to usher in the Civil War.

Ships

The various sailing ships and steam vessels that lay at anchor before the mighty mountains of the state symbolize the maritime trade and commercial wealth that would make California into the major economic power of today. They also represent one of the means of transportation, along with overland travel, used by “49ers” to reach California.