Kentucky Historical Society


Moments in Kentucky
Legislative History

1. The State Seal (1792)

An "act to provide a seal for this Commonwealth" was passed by the first General Assembly during its second session on December 20, 1792, only six months after statehood. The act specified that the seal was to be engraved with "the following device, viz. Two friends embracing, with the name of the State over their heads; and round about them, the following motto, 'United We Stand, Divided We Fall.'"

Three interpretations of Kentucky's state seal.

Kentucky's seal has been interpreted in a variety of ways-sometimes depicting two statesmen, other times a statesman and a frontiersman; sometimes the two men were embracing, other times shaking hands. These three interpretations show some of those variations: the regimental colors of the 13th Kentucky Infantry from 1861, an engraving from the Martin F. Schmidt Collection, and a drawing photographed in the 1940s. Kentucky Historical Society Collections.

Kentucky Unbridled Spirit

Kentucky Historical Society, 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601
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An agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet