State Seal

The Great Seal of the State of California was designed and approved at the 1849 Monterey Constitutional Convention. The complex imagery on the Great Seal serves as a snapshot in time, capturing some of the main issues facing the convention members. These included many activities and localities in the future state that were important to them – mining, farming and water transportation.

After the Constitutional Convention, the first set of seals were engraved, with further changes following over the next century. The Great Seal also includes two other state symbols: the grizzly bear and the state motto “Eureka.”. The Seal’s 31 stars symbolize California’s admission into the Union in 1850 as the 31st state. The State Seal is stamped on official documents including California driver’s licenses.

(Added to Statutes, Chapter 161, 1966)