The Great Seal of the State of New York consists of those words surrounding the Arms of New York State.
The present Seal was created in 1882, and is the fifth official version. It differs from the original (created in 1777) in its complexity, and in the attention given to the state's claim to national and global significance, as well as the prominence of its interest in Liberty and Justice.
Emblazoned on a dark blue field is the state coat of arms.
The goddess Liberty holds a pole with a Liberty Cap on top. Liberty stands for freedom. At her feet is a discarded crown, representing freedom from England at the end of the revolutionary war.
On the right is the goddess, Justice. She wears a blindfold and carries the scales of justice. Meaning that everyone receives equal treatment under the law.
The state motto "Excelsior" on a white ribbon expresses the idea of reaching upward to higher goals.
On the shield, a sun rises over the Hudson highlands and ships sail the Hudson River. Above the shield is an eagle resting on a globe representing the Western Hemisphere.