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State Flag | State Seal | State Nickname | Other Symbols Links

State Flag: ( click here - for enlarged view)

Pennsylvania's State Flag is more of a square than a rectangle. It is composed of a blue field on which the State Coat of Arms is embroidered. Draft horses are on either side of the coat of arms and the American eagle rests on the top. The scroll at the bottom reads Virtue, Liberty and Independence.

The first state flag bearing the state coat of arms was authorized by the general assembly in 1799. An act of the generalassembly of June 13, 1907, standardized the flag and required that the blue field match the blue of "Old Glory".

State Seal:

Pennsylvania's 1776 Constitutional Convention authorized that a state seal should be established. A seal similar to today's Great Seal began to be used, and in 1790 the General Assembly officially recognized a Great Seal. In 1791, possession of the Great Seal passed from the Supreme Executive Council to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The central image on the seal is a crest containing a ship under full sail, a plow, and three sheaves of wheat. These symbols represent the importance of commerce, labor, perseverance, and agriculture to the state's economy. On either side of the crest are a stalk of Indian corn and an olive branch, representing the state's recognition of it's past and hopes for the future. Atop the shield an eagle proudly symbolizes the state's sovereignty. The outer ring of the seal bears the words "Seal of the State of Pennsylvania".

State Nickname:

The word "keystone" comes from architecture and refers to the central, wedge-shaped stone in an arch, which holds all the other stones in place. The application of the term “Keystone State” to Pennsylvania cannot be traced to any single source. It was commonly accepted soon after 1800.

At a Jefferson Republican victory rally in October 1802, Pennsylvania was toasted as "the keystone in the federal union," and in the newspaper Aurora the following year the state was referred to as "the keystone in the democratic arch." The modern persistence of this designation is justified in view of the key position of Pennsylvania in the economic, social, and political development of the United States.

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