James Madison Papers
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Seal for the Admiralty of the United States, [4 May] 1780

Seal for the Admiralty of the United States

Printed text (Journals of the Continental Congress, XVI, 412).

[4 May 1780]

The Board of Admiralty reported the device of a seal for the Admiralty of the United States: the arms, thirteen bars mutually supporting each other, alternate red and white, in a blue field, and surmounting an anchor proper. The crest a ship under sail. The motto Sustentans et Sustentatus. The legend U. S. A. Sigil. Naval.

Ordered, That the same be engraved, and used as the seal of the Board of Admiralty of the United States of America.1

1This seal remained unaltered until 1798. The motto is translated, “Upholding and Upheld.”

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