Diplomacy Classroom: The Great Seal

1:00 pm


This Diplomacy Classroom we took a closer look at the Great Seal of the United States. Each year the seal is impressed upon thousands of official documents such as treaties and commissions. NMAD Public Historian Dr. Alison Mann and Education Director Lauren Fischer discussed the importance of the seal and how it evolved to be the image now recognized around the world as a symbol of the United States. Also highlighted during the 45-minute program were artifacts from NMAD’s collection that bear the Great Seal. The artifacts showed how the seal is used not only on official documents but is affixed on U.S. missions across the globe and represented on diplomatic gifts. Learn its history and secrets through the timestamps below:

  • What is the Great Seal? 5:10
  • What’s the difference between the Great Seal and its representation? 9:29
  • Has the Great Seal always looked the same? 10:30
  • What was the evolution of the Great Seal? 14:19
  • Where can we find representations of the Great Seal? 18:45
  • How is the seal a tool of diplomacy? 27:32

To learn more about the Great Seal, check out the online exhibit.

Watch Diplomacy Classroom: The Great Seal