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WV State Seal turns 150 today

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CHARLESTON, WV -

West Virginia's state seal is marking its own 150th birthday Sept. 26.

Lawmakers in the newly formed state of West Virginia adopted the seal Doddridge County resident Joseph H. Diss Debar designed on Sept. 26, 1863.

The state seal he designed has never been changed. The front of the seal shows a coal miner and a farmer, representing industry and culture, as well as a rock engraved with the date of statehood and two rifles crossed beneath the Cap of Liberty.

"West Virginia has come so far in the past 150 years, and yet here is something that our founding fathers would recognize," Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said in a news release. "This is a direct link to our founding in Wheeling and to people like Francis Pierpont, Arthur Boreman, Waitman Willey and John Carlile."

Section 2-7 of the West Virginia Constitution deals with the seal. It reads "The present seal of the state, with its motto, ‘Montani Semper Leberi,' shall be the great seal of the state of West Virginia, and shall be kept by the secretary of state to be used by him officially, as directed by law."

The reverse of the seal includes a wreath of laurel and oak leaves with a wooded mountain to the left and a slope with a log farmhouse on the right. The image on the reverse of the state seal also is the governor's official seal.