The Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin is a seal used by the secretary of state to authenticate all of the governorís official acts, except laws. It consists of the state coat of arms, with the words "Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin" above it and 13 stars, representing the original states, below it.
Top Forward, the state motto. A badger, the state animal. Center, the state shield Top left. A plow, representing agriculture. Top right a pick and shovel, representing mining. Bottom left, an arm and hammer, representing manufacturing. Bottom right, an anchor, representing navigation. Center, the UNITED STATES coat of arms, including the motto E Pluribus Unum.
The shield is supported by a sailor and a yeoman (usually considered a miner), representing labor on water and land. Bottom a cornucopia, representing prosperity and abundance. 13 lead ingots, representing mineral wealth and the 13 original United States.
The state seal emphasizes mining and shipping. At the time of Wisconsin's founding in 1848, the mining of lead and iron was a major industry that ended by the early 20th century because the metals had been depleted. The state was also a particularly important navigational link from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River via Wisconsin rivers. This was gradually phased out with the advent of railways in the mid- to late-19th century.
Starting at the top of a shield on a dark blue field is the state motto "Forward". Below it is a badger the state animal.
A sailor and miner show that the people work on water and land. The shield in the center shows Wisconsin's support for the United States.
In four sections surrounding the shield are representations of the stateís main industries Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and navigation. The cornucopia and pile of lead represent farm products and minerals.
The flag law was amended in 1979 to include the name of the state and the date of statehood.