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On a white field emblazoned with a red X and the state seal, Florida's flag represents the land of sunshine, flowers, palm trees, rivers and lakes.
The seal features a brilliant sun, a cabbage palmetto tree, a steamboat sailing and a Native American Seminole woman scattering flowers.
In 1868, Florida's new State Constitution mandated that the first
session of the Legislature must adopt a seal to represent the state. And the
Legislature lost no time in coming up with a Joint Resolution that they sent
to the Governor in August of that year. The resolution specified that the seal
had to be the size of an American silver dollar. It also stated that the seal
should contain the sun's rays, a cocoa tree, a steamboat, and a female Indian
scattering flowers. These images were to be circled by the words "Great Seal of
the State of Florida: In God We Trust."
Several changes have occurred on the seal over the years, although the
basic design has been maintained. The Indian woman has changed her clothing and
taken off her feathered headdress so that she is now a more authentic Seminole
Indian. A mountain in the background has been flattened. The steamboat has been
repaired a few times. And a sabal palm has been transplanted in place of the
original cocoa tree to reflect the state's adoption of the sabal palmetto palm as
the official state tree in 1953.
"Sunshine State" was adopted as the State Nickname by the 1970 Legislature. Previously, official sanction for this nickname could be
inferred from the law requiring use of Sunshine State on motor vehicle licenses.
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