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Just how did this holiday get its start?

It all started back in when the U. Congress adopted a resolution requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for an observance of November 11 — notable because World War I formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of , when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.

It took 12 years for a Congressional Act to officially make the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday. Like many other holidays, Veterans Day has a direct tie to the floral industry with poppies being symbolic of the observance.


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Many poppy wreaths are laid at war memorials and small artificial poppies are worn on clothing to commemorate this patriotic holiday. Although they are closely related, the poppies used for Veterans Day as well as Memorial Day are not the same species as the opium poppy which is grown as a field crop to produce opium and poppy seeds. Opium poppies were once prohibited in the United States under the Opium Poppy Control Act of , however, the law has since been repealed and the law of poppy cultivation in the U. In fact, some anti-war groups view the remembrance poppy as a political symbol of war and conflict.

The controversy has even spread to the sports world and particularly European soccer clubs where remembrance poppies are a common occurrence on team uniforms in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

American Symbols

Like the first committee, they sought the help of someone more experienced in heraldry, this time Francis Hopkinson , who did most of the work. Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, designed the American flag, [56] and also helped design state and other government seals. He made two similar proposals, each having an obverse and reverse side, with themes of war and peace.

Eastern Floral

Hopkinson's first design had a shield with thirteen diagonal red and white stripes, supported on one side by a figure bearing an olive branch and representing peace, and on the other an Indian warrior holding a bow and arrow, and holding a quiver. The crest was a radiant constellation of thirteen stars. The motto was Bello vel pace paratus , meaning "prepared in war or in peace". The reverse, in Hopkinson's words, was "Liberty is seated in a chair holding an olive branch and her staff is topped by a Liberty cap.

The motto 'Virtute perennis' means 'Everlasting because of virtue. In his second proposal, the Indian warrior was replaced by a soldier holding a sword, and the motto was shortened to Bello vel paci , meaning "For war or for peace". The committee chose the second version, and reported back to Congress on May 10, , six weeks after being formed. Their final blazon, printed in Congress journals on May 17, was: "The Shield charged on the Field Azure with 13 diagonal stripes alternate rouge and argent.

The Crest; a radiant Constellation of 13 Stars. The motto, Bella vel Paci. As with the first design, several elements were eventually used in the final seal; the thirteen stripes on the shield with their colors, the constellation of stars surrounded by clouds, the olive branch, and the arrows from Hopkinson's first proposal. The same note also used an Eye of Providence, taken from the first committee's design. The shield of the Great Seal has seven white stripes and six red ones—essentially, a white background with six red stripes.

Hopkinson incorporated this stripe arrangement into the Great Seal from the Flag of the United States that he had designed. Hopkinson also designed a seal for the Admiralty Navy , which incorporated a chevron consisting of seven red stripes and six white ones. The seven red stripes in his Admiralty seal reflected the number of red stripes in his Naval flag.

When Hopkinson designed these flags, he was running the Navy as chairman of the Continental Navy Board. Arthur Lee replaced Rutledge, although he was not officially appointed. As with the previous two committees, most of the work was delegated to a heraldic expert, this time year-old William Barton.


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Barton drew a design very quickly, using a rooster on the crest, but it was much too complex. No drawing of this design seems to have survived. Barton then came up with another design, which the committee submitted back to Congress on May 9, , just five days after being formed.

This time, the figures on each side of the shield were the " Genius of the American Confederated Republic" represented by a maiden, and on the other side an American warrior. At the top is an eagle and on the pillar in the shield is a "Phoenix in Flames". For the reverse, Barton used a pyramid of thirteen steps , with the radiant Eye of Providence overhead, and used the mottos Deo Favente "With God favoring" and Perennis Everlasting.

On June 13, , the Congress turned to its Secretary Charles Thomson , and provided all material submitted by the first three committees. Thomson used the eagle—this time specifying an American bald eagle —as the sole supporter on the shield. The shield had thirteen stripes, this time in a chevron pattern, and the eagle's claws held an olive branch and a bundle of thirteen arrows. For the crest, he used Hopkinson's constellation of thirteen stars.

The motto was E Pluribus Unum , taken from the first committee, and was on a scroll held in the eagle's beak. An eagle holding symbols of war and peace has a long history, and also echoed the second committee's themes. Franklin owned a emblem book , which included an eagle with olive branch and arrows near its talons, which may have been a source for Thomson.

Breadcrumb

The stripes on the shield were changed again, this time to " palewise " vertical , and the eagle's wing position was changed to "displayed" wingtips up instead of "rising". Barton also wrote a more properly heraldic blazon. The design was submitted to Congress on June 20, and was accepted the same day. Thomson included a page of explanatory notes, but no drawing was submitted. This remains the official definition of the Great Seal today.

The first brass die was cut sometime between June and September, and placed in the State House in Philadelphia. It was first used by Thomson on September 16, , to verify signatures on a document which authorized George Washington to negotiate an exchange of prisoners. Charles Thomson, as the Secretary of Congress, remained the keeper of the seal until the Federal government was formed in On September 15, , the United States Congress ordered "that the seal heretofore used by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be, and hereby is declared to be, the seal of the United States.

The final design was a combination of elements provided by all three committees: [ citation needed ]. The Great Seal very quickly became a popular symbol of the country. Combined with the heraldic tradition of artistic freedom so long as the particulars of the blazon are followed, a wide variety of official and unofficial emblazonments appeared, especially in the first hundred years. This is evident even in the different versions of the seal die. The quality of the design, coupled with a spirit of bureaucratic standardization that characterized that era, has driven most of these out of official use.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. National seal. The obverse depicts the national arms, while the reverse depicts "A pyramid unfinished. See also: Armorial of the United States. Escutcheon -only version. Monochrome hatched greater version. Monochrome hatched escutcheon -only version. Interpretation of the first committee's seal proposal, made by Benson Lossing in The obverse drawing is slightly incorrect; the linked state initials should be on the shield itself. Second committee's seal proposal, drawn by Francis Hopkinson. Hopkinson's first proposal. Third committee's proposal, drawn by William Barton.

Thomson's report to Congress, which was accepted and is still the law today. United States portal Heraldry portal. The American Heraldry Society. Retrieved September 30, Department and Foreign Service series; Department of State publication; The Elements of Heraldry.

WWII Veteran's Flag

Carnan and F. Newbery, Jr. Washington, D. Page 5. The Washington Herald. March 2, Department of State. Retrieved February 3, Diplomacy Center. The Seal of History. Archived from the original on June 24, July Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Congress then ordered a seal half the size of the great one, to impress wax and paper, as you now see it upon this commission signed by my old and trusty friend, Charles Thomson. The History of the Seal of the United States. Saeculum did come to mean "age, world" in late, Christian, Latin, and "secular" is derived from it, through secularis.

However, the adjective "secularis," meaning "worldly," is not equivalent to the genitive plural seclorum , meaning "of the ages.

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Oxford: Clarendon Press. Retrieved December 26, Some examples include the Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc, Czech Republic built from — seen here , the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius, built between and seen here , the Aachen Cathedral seen here , inscription dated , the cover of a book by Giovanni Battista Morgagni , or the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen seen here.

Center for Studies on New Religions. Retrieved May 25, February 12, Retrieved August 5, Archived from the original on November 15, Archived from the original on October 17, University of Notre Dame. October NAVA News : 7—9. Retrieved February 16, Congressional Documents and Debates, —". Library of Congress , Law Library of Congress.