Arkansas History

Arkansas State Seal


Territorial Seal, 1832 | Territorial Seal, 1835

The State Seal of Arkansas derives from the territorial seal designed by Samuel Calhoun Roane.

When Arkansas became a state in 1836, the Legislature altered the seal by substituting “Seal of the State of Arkansas” for its original territorial designation. An 1856 enactment specified the “impressions, emblems and devices” to be included in all renderings of the state seal. The law named some 20 elements, words and phrases.


In 1864, the Assembly adopted a new formula which survives to this day. Arkansas Code 1-4-108 requires the following elements:


“An eagle at the bottom, holding a scroll in its beak inscribed Regnat Populus, with a bundle of arrows in one claw and an olive branch in the other; a shield covering the breast of the eagle, engraved with a steamboat at the top, a beehive and plow in the middle, and a sheaf of wheat at the bottom; the Goddess of Liberty at the top, holding a wreath in her right hand, a pole in the left hand, surmounted by a liberty cap, and surrounded by a circle of stars outside of which is a circle of rays; the figure of an angel on the left, inscribed “mercy;” and a sword on the right hand, inscribed “justice” and surrounded with the words “seal of the State of Arkansas.”
Arkansas State Seal