Last updated: 06 / 02 / 2005


On this page I am proud to host my personal photographs of the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia located on front doors of the Capitol Building here in Richmond, Virginia.


The Capitol is currently undergoing construction and visitors may not view the Great Seal because the stairs that led to the portico where the Seal is located have been removed.

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(Above) The obverse of the Great Seal of Virginia is located on the Southern portal of the Capitol in Richmond, Virginia. The seal was designed and cast by New York artist  Charles Keck in 1931. "Sic Semper Tyrannis" translates to mean "Thus Always to Tyrants."

My interpretation of the seal:

I view the seal as depicting the Victory of Liberty over the Tyranny of Oppressive Government. The inverted spear represents the seed pole of Agriculture and the 17 leaves encircling the seal are said to be "Virginia Creeper." However, I believe the leaves represented Virginia's chief crop, Tobacco. My theory is that for many years before the Civil War, marijuana [more commonly called Hemp or Cannabis] was formerly known as a type of tobacco. Since the time of Jamestown, Virginia has been growing Hemp and Tobacco side by side. It is ridiculous to think that people would smoke one and not the other, particularly when marijuana is so much better to smoke than tobacco. Unlike tobacco or alcohol, marijuana is not poisonous. The inclusion of the marijuana leaves on the seal is a further repelant to Tyrants who repress Liberty and natural rights by prohibiting the use of marijuana.

Virginia's Marijuana law from March 21, 1936, may be one of the first examples of a medicinal use marijuana law. Notice this law was passed just five years after the Great Seal had been designed.

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(Below) The reverse of the Great Seal of Virginia that is located at the Capitol in Downtown Richmond, Virginia. On the reverse a group: Libertas (Liberty) with her staff and pileus (Liberty Cap); on her left, Ceres (Agriculture), with the cornucopia in one hand and an ear of wheat in the other; on the other side Aeternitas (Eternity) with the globe and phoenix. At the top is the word Perseverando, Latin for "Persevere". The original motto was "Deus Nobis Haec Otia Fecit" which translates, "God has provided this leisure for us" is taken from Virgil (Eclogue I, l.6).
  See the post-Civil War U.S. Flag that was approved by Lincoln but never used.    


Page created Oct. 13, 2004