State Seal

In 1885, the 1850's version of the New York State Coat of Arms was selected by the Legislature as the "permanent design and legal form." According to Joseph Gavit in New York History, Volume XXXI, the seal symbolizes the following: 

Parts of New York State Seal Used By The Senate

  1. In the center, a shield reveals the sun rising behind Mount Beacon over the Hudson River. "The shield symbolizes in the full sun the name and idea of Old York and the old world; the mountains, river and meadow, with the ships, convey the name and idea of New York in the new world."
  2. To the right, Justice is ready to fight tyranny with her sword held high.
  3. Liberty on the left, holds her foot on the overthrown English Crown. "This New York is supported by Justice and Liberty, and discards monarchy."
  4. The world globe is displayed above the shield. "By exhibiting the eastern and western continents on the globe, the old and new are brought together;"
  5. Above the world globe soars the eagle. "while the eagle on the crest proclaims," Westward the course of empire takes its way."
  6. The bottom ribbon exclaims "Excelsior," which means "still higher" or "ever upward."


Sources: David Zdunczyk, 200 Years of the New York State Legislature (Albany Institute of History and Art, 1978); The New York State Senate Chamber (New York State Senate, 2002); Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Photo Source: Senate Technology Services