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|Great Seal of the District of Columbia|
Historical coat of arms (1876)
|Armiger||District of Columbia|
|Other elements||Lady Justice hanging a wreath on a statue of George Washington; the motto of the District of Columbia, "JUSTITIA OMNIBUS" (Latin for Justice for All); and "1871" (the year in which the District was organized in its present form). In the background is the United States Capitol on the right; on the left, a train steams across a viaduct under a rising sun.|
|Use||To represent the District of Columbia and to authenticate certain documents.|
The seal of the District of Columbia consists of a circular design with the words "DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" stretched across the top inside portion in an arc. The Seal includes two human figures which are the likeness of George Washington and a blindfolded female figure holding a wreath in her right hand and a stone tablet with the word "CONSTITUTION" in her left hand. The Seal also contains a depiction of the United States Capitol, several agricultural products, an eagle in a war stance, a train locomotive crossing the Potomac River, emblazoned by a radiating sun and trailed by several rail cars. The seal reads the motto of the District of Columbia, "JUSTITIA OMNIBUS" (Latin for "justice for all"); and "1871" (the year when the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 was passed, organizing the District in its present form). The official seal is always presented in black and white. The Secretary of the District of Columbia is the official custodian of the Seal.
When it was first adopted in 1871, the original seal featured Lady Justice placing a wreath not on a statue of George Washington, but on the Statue of Freedom, which currently sits atop the Capitol Building. By 1888, the seal had been modified to feature a statue of George Washington.
It is the policy of the District of Columbia government that the use of the Corporate Seal of the District of Columbia is prohibited, except by permission obtained from the Secretary of the District of Columbia. The display or use of the District of Columbia Seal is restricted to an official purpose as approved by the Secretary. All requests for permission to use or reproduce the Seal of the District of Columbia must be submitted in writing to the Secretary prior to its use by an agency head for any purpose. Determinations about the use of the Seal are solely within the discretion of the Secretary of the District of Columbia. For additional information about the restrictions on the use of the Seal, contact the Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia or review Mayor's Memorandum 89-47.