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The First Seal of the United States

     On July 4, 1776, after the Declaration of Independence had been read in the Continental Congress, it was “Resolved, That Dr. Franklin, Mr. J. Adams and Mr. Jefferson be a committee, to prepare a device for a seal of the United States of America.” (Journals of Congress)

     The committee reported on August 10 follows:

     The great seal should on one side have the arms of the United States of America…
Motto: E Pluribus Unum. Legend round the whole achievement, Seal of the United States of America MDCCLXXVI.

     On the other side of the said Great Seal should be the following device: Pharaoh sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his head and a sword in his hand passing through the divided Waters of the Red Sea in pursuit of the Israelites: Rays from a pillar of Fire in the Cloud, expressive of the Divine Presence and Command, beaming on Moses who stands on the shore, and extending his hand over the Sea causes it to overwhelm Pharaoh.
Motto: Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.


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