Hampshire was described for the first time by Captain John Smith in 1614. A grant was made in 1622 to John Mason and Thomas Gorges of
land from the Merrimack to the Kennebec River and the next year the first settlement
was made at Portsmouth, and one at Dover, New Hampshire. In 1629 this grant was divided and a separate one made to Mason of the
part west of the Piscataqua River, called New Hampshire, and to Gorges that
east of the river, called Maine.
Arms of Mason
Arms: Or, a lion rampant Azure.
Crest: A mermaid with comb and
1641 Massachusetts claimed jurisdiction over New Hampshire, and maintained it
until 1679, when it was decoded by the English court of appeal that the
authority exercised by Massachusetts was illegal, and New Hampshire was made
a separate Province.
Cutt was appointed the first President, his commission bearing date 18th September 1679, and on the 1st of January, 1679-80 he
received his commission and the seal
frist used by the Province.
arms on this seal were the royal arms of the period and the legend was: SIGILLUM
PRÆSIDENTIS ET CONSILIS DE PROVINCIA NOVÆ HAMPTONIÆ IN NOVA ANGLIA. This seal was used by John Cutt and his successor, Richard
Waldron in 1680 and 1681. On the accession of Edward Cranfield in 1682, who was commissioned
lieutenant-governor the legend was changed: SIGILLUM
PROVINCIÆ NOSTRÆ NOVÆ HAMPTONIÆ IN NOVA ANGLIA.
was also used by Walter Barefoote, Deputy Governor, who succeeded Cranfield
in 1685, till the following year, when New hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts,
and Narragansett (Rhode Island) were united under a single Royal Province
with President Joseph Dudley at the head for a year until Sir Edmund ASndros
was appointed Governor in 1687. On his overthrow in 1689, when Massachusetts
resumed under her old charter, she took New Hampshire under her protection
with Simon Bradstreet as Governor
1692 Massachusetts received her second charter, and New Hampshire was
re-established as a separete Province with John Usher as Lieutenant-Governor,
acting for Samuel Allen of London, the Governor.
seal used at that time bears the crowned coat of arms of William and Mary,
surrounded by the Garter, between the cypher of William and Mary and the
initials R.R. (Rex, Regina) and the motto DIEV ET MONT DROIT
below. The legend reads: sig : prov : n’ræ : novæ hampton : in : nov :
The Province Seal of New Hampshire
Mary 1692-`1694 
1776 the Colony of New Hampshire adopted a new seal. The legend reads: colony of new hampshire . vis unita fortior. It displayed a codfish, five arrows
bound together and a pine tree, being a rebus of the last part of the legend,
the dutch word Vis (= fish) for for
the codfish, the bundle of arrows (also from the dutch emblem of the realm)
for unity, and the pine tree for strength. The motto may also be read
composed of the emblems for the codfish for her coast, the pine-tree for her
interior and the five arrows for the the five counties of the jurisdiction of
the Colony of New Hampshire 1776
Seal of the Republic of New Hampshire, 1777
seal was used only in the year 1776 being supersed by a similar device with
the motto SIGILL :
REI-PUB : NEO : HANTONI : VIS: UNITA : FORTIOR.
1784 the familiar ship on thestocks appears on the State seal, with a rising
sun, which in a design accepted in 1785 was omitted, and the motto now used sigillum reipublicæ neo hantonensis is the legal one adopted
February 12, 1785.
present seal of New Hampshire was adopted in November,
1784, but owing to some irregularity in the prceeding it was thought necessary
to confirm it in February 1785. The description then made was
‘A field encompassed with laurels;
round the field, in capital letters, “Sigillum Reipublicæ Neo Hantonensis,”
on the field, a rising sun, and a ship on the stocks, with the American banners
Seal of New
The ship on the stocks an English cutter
The legislature choose the seal to
depict a ship on stocks to reflect Portsmouth having become a major shipbuilding center during
the war years. Over the years, various items for
shipment were also shown on the frontal dock in the seal.
In 1919, New Hampshire
Director Otis G.
Hammond, on the order of the Governor and Executive
Council of New Hampshire, wrote
a history of the state seal and flag. Hammond described how because the law
governing the design of the seal was not very
specific, when the dies wore down and had to be redesigned, the artists and
sketchers had injected surprising details into the seal, such as rum barrels
on the dock, sometimes including people standing beside them. In 1931, after
Governor John G. Winant began his second term, he named a committee
to produce a seal devoid of controversy. The General Court approved the committee's recommendations,
later enacting a law codifying the official design of the state seal.
The present seal of New Hampshire was adopted by an act of the State legislature approved on 29 April 1931, to take effect on 1 January 1931. 
The act reads as
“Section 4 of chapter 8 of the Public laws is
hereby amended by striking out the whole thereof and substituting therefore
4. The seal of the state shall be 2 inches in
diameter, circular, with the following detail and no other: A field crossed
by a straight horizon line of the sea, above the center of the field;
concentric with the field the rising sun, exposed above the horizon about 1/3
of its diameter; the field encompassed with laurel; across the field for the
full width within the laurel a broadside view of the frigate Raleigh, on the
stocks; the ship's bow dexter and higher than the stern; the 3 lower masts
shown in place, together with the fore, main and mizzen tops, shrouds and
mainstays; an ensign staff at the stern flies the United States flag
authorized by act of Congress June 14, 1777; a jury staff on the mainmast and
another on the foremast each flies a pennant; flags and pennants are
streaming to the dexter side; the hull is shown without a rudder; below the
ship the field is divided into land and water by a double diagonal line whose
highest point is sinister; no detail is shown anywhere on the water, nor any
on the land between the water and the stocks except a granite boulder on the
dexter side; encircling the field is the inscription, SEAL • OF • THE • STATE
• OF • NEW HAMPSHIRE, the words separated by round periods, except between
the parts of New Hampshire; at the lowest point of the inscription is the
date 1776, flanked on either side by a 5-pointed star, which group separates
the beginning and end of the inscription; the whole form and design to be as
Seal adopted 29.04.1931
USS Raleigh, 1776
The Raleigh on the present seal is one of the first 13 warships sponsored
by the Continental
Congress for a new American navy, built in 1776, at Portsmouth. The water stands for the harbor of
Portsmouth, and in the yellow-colored spit of land is granite, a strong
igneous rock, representing both New Hampshire's rugged landscape and the
sturdy character of her people.
The Arms and Emblem
a coat of arms for New Hampshire, the scene of the seal was placed on a
heraldic shield. These proposals have never resulted
in an official adoption of a coat of arms for New Hampshire.
The arms of New Hampshire
Doolittle’s “A display of the United states of America”, 1787
Arms of New Hampshire
Arms of the Union, Boston 1879
state emblem of New Hampshire was introduced in 1945. It consists of a
representation of a rock formation
called “The Old Man of the Mountain”, surrounded by the motto state of
new hampshire live free or die.
Æ See illustration in the head of this essay
The emblem was put
on the state's license plate, state route
signs, and on the back of New
Quarter, which is popularly promoted
as the only US coin with a profile on both sides
New Hampshire Statehood Quarter
The Old Man of the Mountain, 26.04.2003
The Old Man of the
Mountain was carved by glaciers and was first recorded as being discovered by
a surveying team around 1805. It was 400m above
Lake in Franconia
Notch State Park, and was about 12 m high and 8 m wide. The official state history says several
groups of surveyors were working in the Franconia Notch area at the time and claimed credit for the
The Old Man was famous largely because of
statesman Daniel Webster, from New Hampshire, who once wrote: "Men hang out their
signs indicative of their respective trades; shoe makers hang out a gigantic
shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but
up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to
show that there He makes men."
The writer Nathaniel Hawthorne used the Old Man as inspiration for his short story "The Great Stone Face", published in 1850, in which he described
the formation as "a work of Nature in her mood of majestic
The formation came down in
Hampshire State Area Command
That for regiments and separate battalions of the New Hampshire Army National Guard: From a wreath of colors, two pine branches saltirewise Proper crossed behind a bundle of five arrows palewise Argent bound together by a ribbon Gules the ends entwining the branches.
The bundle of five arrows and the pine are from the seal adopted by the Colony of New Hampshire in 1776.
The crest for color bearing organizations of the State of New Hampshire was approved on 21 December 1923
Distinctive Unit Insignia
A Gold color metal and enamel device 2.54 cm in height overall consisting of a Gold shield with a raised reproduction in enamel of the crest and wreath authorized for the State of New Hampshire Army National Guard: On a wreath Argent (White) and Gules (Red) two pine branches saltirewise Proper (Green) crossed behind a bundle of five arrows palewise Argent (White) bound together by a ribbon Gules (Red) the ends entwining the branches.
The bundle of five arrows and the pine are from the seal adopted by the Colony of New Hampshire in 1776. The twists of the wreath are white and red as the State was colonized by the English.
The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and noncolor bearing units of the New Hampshire Army National Guard on 5 February 1971. The insignia was redesignated effective 30 December 1983, for Headquarters, State Area Command, New Hampshire Army National Guard.
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
On a blue shield 6.99 cm in height and 6.19 cm in width overall, a bundle of five arrows, three in front and two in rear, points to top, within a circle composed of nine stars, the one at base twice the size of the remainder, all yellow.
Blue and yellow are the colors of the state flag of New Hampshire. The nine stars represent New Hampshire as the ninth state to ratify the Constitution thereby making the Constitution effective. The bundle of five arrows, taken from the New Hampshire State Seal (1776), represents the five counties of New Hampshire bound together into a common state government.
The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, New Hampshire National Guard on 7 March 1956. It was redesignated on 30 December 1983, for Headquarters, State Area Command, New Hampshire Army National Guard. (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-289)
© Hubert de
province seal of New Hampshire under William and Mary, 1692-1694 A paper read by request before the Bostonian society, at the
stated monthly meeting, held June 12, 1888;Published
by Old state house [T.R. Marvin & son, printers] Boston
Zieber, Eugene: Heraldry in America. Published
by the Department of Heraldry of the Bailey, Banks and Biddle Company.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1895.
New Hampshire Laws 1931 and Special Session
1930: New Hampshire Public Acts and Joint Resolutions of the Legislature of
1931 and Special Seession of 1930, ... published by the Secretary of State (The
Clarke Press, Manchester, New Hampshire, 1931) P. 44. Shankle, Georg Earlie: State
Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and other Symbols. The H.W. Wilson
Comp.. New York, 1951