Kentucky Atlas and Gazetteer

The Seal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Kentucky state seal

The Kentucky seal was adopted by the General Assembly in 1792 and consists of

Two friends embracing each other, with the words "Commonwealth of Kentucky" over their heads and around them words "United We Stand, Divided We Fall."

The details of the design have varied greatly over the years. The first known seal was made in 1793 by David Humphreys and was destroyed in 1812 when the Capitol burned. The Kentucky state seal is in the custody of the Kentucky Secretary of State.

Humphreys' work can also be seen in maps illustrating A report of the causes determined by the late Supreme Court for the District of Kentucky and by the Court of Appeals in which the titles to land were in dispute by James Hughes (Lexington, 1803). It was printed by John Bradford, who operated Kentucky's first printing shop and published its first newspaper, The Kentucky Gazette.

Original seal of 1793

An impression from the original seal of 1793


© 2024 David C. Elbon