The Six Seals of Texas

The seal mosaics represent the six countries that had soverignty over what became the state of Texas.  Those countries are: Spain (1519-1821), France (1685-1690), Mexico (1821-1836), the Republic of Texas (1836-1845), the Confederate States of America (1861-1865), and the United States of America (1845-1861; 1865-present). 

Mosaic seal for the United States of AmericaUnited States of America

The United States seal, representing the fifth and (upon the end of the Confederacy) the current nation to govern Texas, appears in three places on the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s headquarters. The front exterior seal is glass mosaic; the rear exterior seal is terra-cotta. It also repeats on the three bronze entry doors. It commemorates the 13 original states, with 13 stripes, 13 stars, 13 arrows and 13 leaves on the olive branch. Texas was an independent republic from 1836 to 1846, and is the only independent republic that became a part of the United States. (Seal history courtesy of the Texas State Capitol)

 

 

 

Mosaic seal for the Confederate States of AmericaConfederate States of America

The Confederate seal, representing the sixth nation governing Texas during its history, appears in three places on the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s headquarters. The front exterior seal is glass mosaic; the rear exterior seal is terra-cotta. It also repeats on the three bronze entry doors. The seal features George Washington on horseback, encircled by the cash crops of the south: corn, cotton, wheat and tobacco. On Feb. 23, 1861, Texas became one of the 11 southern states that seceded from the Union to form the Confederacy. Though the Civil War ended in April of 1865, Texas was not readmitted to the Union until March of 1870. (Seal history courtesy of the Texas State Capitol)

 

 

 

Mosaic seal for the Republic of TexasRepublic of Texas

The seal of the Republic of Texas, representing Texas’ brief period as a sovereign nation, appears in four places on the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s headquarters. The front exterior seal is glass mosaic; the rear exterior seal is terra-cotta. It also repeats on the three bronze entry doors and is inlaid into the lobby’s terrazzo floor. It contains a lone star encircled by traditional symbols of strength (a live oak branch) and peace (an olive branch). Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836. The origin of its Lone Star State nickname is unknown. (Seal history courtesy of the Texas State Capitol)
 

 

 

 

Mosaic seals for the United Mexican StatesUnited Mexican States

The Mexican seal, representing the third of six nations governing Texas, appears in three places on the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s headquarters. The front exterior seal is glass mosaic; the rear exterior seal is terra-cotta. It also repeats on the three bronze entry doors. The seal depicts an Aztec legend concerning the location of a future capital. Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821 and formed a new republic that included Texas. (Seal history courtesy of the Texas State Capitol)

 

 

 

 

Mosaic seal for the Kingdom of France

The Kingdom of France

The French seal, representing the second of six nations governing Texas, appears in three places on the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s headquarters. The front exterior seal is glass mosaic; the rear exterior seal is terra-cotta. It also repeats on the three bronze entry doors. The seal features the ancient fleur-de-lis symbol of the Bourbon Kings. France established a colony at Matagorda Bay in 1685, but ultimately abandoned its settlement efforts in Texas and later established colonies in what became Louisiana, where they were much more successful. (Seal history courtesy of the Texas State Capitol)

 

 


 

Mosaic seal for the United Kingdom of SpainThe Kingdom of Spain

The Spanish seal, representing the first of six nations governing Texas, appears in three places on the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s headquarters. The front exterior seal is glass mosaic; the rear exterior seal is terra-cotta. It also repeats on the three bronze entry doors. The seal features symbols of castles and lions representing the union of two Spanish kingdoms, Leon and Castile. Spanish explorers arrived in what is now called Texas in 1519.  (Seal history courtesy of the Texas State Capitol)

Page last modified: March 7, 2016