Senate Approves New Cortland County Seal

James L. Seward

March 12, 2009

ALBANY, 03/12/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) announced today the senate passage of a home rule request allowing Cortland County to update the official county seal.

“With Cortland County just celebrating its bicentennial it is an ideal time to officially update the county seal,” said Seward. “This new seal, which is already commonly recognized and used throughout the county as a logo, will now be used for official county and court documents.”

In the late 1850s the county seal featured two concentric circles, between which could be read “Cortland County.” In the middle of the interior circle were a sheaf of wheat, and a bushel basket of what appears to be potatoes or apples. The seal has become worn, unrecognizable and needs to be replaced. No original of this seal exists.

The more recent and commonly seen logo of the county is a round medallion depicting a center shield topped by an eagle and wreath of laurels. The shield features 13 stars in a field of blue above a red and white striped base. On the left is a man with a sheaf of wheat representing the importance of agriculture in the county. On the right is a man with a hammer and wheel representing the importance of industry in the county. In the foreground is a mound of fruits and vegetables further emphasizing agriculture. Both men have hands resting on the center shield indicating a cooperative spirit.

The seal can be found in the dome of the first floor rotunda in the courthouse, and in the dome of the main courtroom, as well as on all of the doorknobs. Both the building and the seal were designed by famed courthouse architect James Riely Gordon in 1923-24.

The legislation was requested by the Cortland County Legislature.

The bill has been forwarded to the assembly.