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Great Seal of the United States


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The front of the Great Seal of the United States is the Bald Eagle, and the reverse is the Eye of Providence: an eye on a pyramid. The Great Seal was first publicly revealed in 1782.

The shield the eagle bears on its breast, though sometimes drawn incorrectly, has two main differences from the American flag; it has no stars on the blue chief, and unlike the flag has white edges, not red. It is usually blazoned Paly of thirteen, argent and gules, a chief azure. This is technically incorrect blazon, as a shield cannot be paly (vertically striped) of an uneven number; more proper blazon would be argent, six pallets gules... (six red stripes on a white field). But the incorrect blazon is used to preserve the reference to the thirteen original colonies.

Since 1935, both sides of the Great Seal appear on the reverse of the One-Dollar Bill of the United States.

Conspiracy theories abound about the significance of the eye of the pyramid and its relationship to Masonicic and Illuminati symbology. While the Masonic origins of the symbol have been debunked, it is interesting that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a 32nd degree Mason, was the one who put the Great Seal on the one-dollar bill.

Another controversy is about the stars arranged in the shape of the Star of David on the upper half of the seal.

The obverse side of Great Seal is used to emboss the design on international treaties and other official US Government documents. It is stored in the Exhibit Hall of the US Department of State inside a locked glass enclosure. An officer from the State Department does the actual sealing of documents after the US Secretary of State has countersigned the President's signature. It is used 2,000 to 3,000 times a year.

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