FUN FACT FRIDAY – The Great Seal of Idaho
DID YOU KNOW? Idaho is the only state to have our Great Seal designed by a woman!
After Idaho became a state, it was determined that we needed a Great Seal. The First Legislature of the new state sponsored a competition for the design. As it happened, a young woman by the name of Emma Edwards, who was visiting Boise after a year of art school in New York, had recently started teaching art classes for young pioneers. She was invited to submit a design for the Great Seal and her design was unanimously selected by the legislative committee.
FUN FACT #2: In addition to showing the state’s resources, Emma’s design included a male miner (indicating the primary state industry at the time) and a female (indicating justice, liberty, and equality). The shield between them is emblematic of the protection they give the state by uniting.
FUN FACT #3: The current “Official Copy” of the Great Seal of Idaho is an updated version of Emma’s design, authorized in 1957. The intent was to update and improve the seal in order to feature Idaho’s main industries of mining, agriculture, and forestry, as well as highlight the state’s natural beauty.
You can find many more enlightening facts about our state seal on the website of the Office of the Governor, here: https://gov.idaho.gov/idaho-state-seal/
Also, the Idaho State Historical Society has a section of Emma Edwards Green’s papers and artwork in their archives, posted here: https://history.idaho.gov/archives/