of Utah is named after the Ute Indians, who ranged across the Colorado
Plateau for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the white man. The
name Ute means ‘land of the Sun.’
A group led by
two Spanish Catholic priests - sometimes called the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition - left
Santa Fe de Nueva Mexico in 1776, hoping to find a route to the California
coast. The expedition traveled as far north as the Great Salt Lake and
encountered some local people.
In the early
19th century fur trappers explored some regions of Utah inhabited by the Northwestern Shoshone living on the eastern
shore of the Great Salt Lake and in adjacent mountain valleys, and by other
bands of Shoshone such as the Gosiute
Members of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as Mormon pioneers, first came to the Salt
Lake Valley on 21 July 1847. At the time, the U.S. had already captured the
Mexican territories of Alta
California and New
Mexico in the Mexican-American War and planned to keep them, but those
territories, including the future state of Utah, officially became United
States territory upon the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on 2 February
1848. The treaty was ratified by the United States Senate on 10 March 1848.
after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley Mormons, who went on to colonize many
other areas of what is now Utah, were petitioned by Indians for recompense
for land taken. The response of Heber C. Kimball, first counselor to Brigham
Young, was that the land belonged to "our Father in Heaven and we expect
to plow and plant it." The land was treated by the United States as
public domain; no title by the Northwestern Shoshone was ever recognized by the
United States or extinguished by treaty with the United States.
petitioned for by the Mormons in 1849-50 using the name Deseret. The proposed
State of Deseret would have been quite large, encompassing all of what is now
Utah, and portions of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, Oregon, New
Mexico and California. The petition was rejected by Congress.
In 1850, the Utah
Territory was created with the Compromise of 1850, and Fillmore (named after
President Fillmore) was designated the capital. In 1856, Salt Lake City
replaced Fillmore as the territorial capital. After the Mormons had
made some concessions, in particular about polygamy, Utah was accepted as the 48th state of the United States of
America on 4 January 1896.
For the early
heraldry see Æ New Mexico
Young and the Latter-day Saints arrived in Salt Lake Valley in July of 1847,
Young chose the name “Deseret” (honeybee) for their new home. It refers to
the Book of Mormon (Ether 2:3): And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation,
is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all
manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind.
A beehive was chosen as its emblem,
symbolizing the kind of cooperative work that would be required to make the
desert bloom. Images of bees and beehives - the traditional skep, five of
which the Mormons brought with them on their trek - were used in much early
church construction on the interior and exterior of the Salt Lake Temple. Brigham
Young's own Beehive House is crowned with a carved bee skep. Newell posts,
doorknobs, windows and all bore the emblem of a beehive.
Inscribed: HOLINESS TO THE LORD / DESERET
Stone, used in the construction of the Washington Monument, was donated by
the territory in 1853 to represent the provisional state.
The seal of Utah
was adopted immediately after the Territory was organized on 9 September 1850,
and its device was a bee-hive with bees volant
about it. Its legend read: TERRITORY OF UTAH SEPT 9TH MDCCCL, separated by
two fleurs de lys between six-pointed stars.
Seal of Utah Territory, 1850
A record known
to be in existence refers to a new seal approved in 1872. This reads:
“’The Audito of
Public Accounts be, and is hereby authorized and required to procure a new Seal
for the Terriorial Secretary’s office; the pattern and design of said Seal to
be the same as the original Terrotorial Seals, excepting the year and date,
which shall be represented by figures, and not as in the original by Roman
letters; said Seal to be two inches in diameter.’” 
Seal of Utah Territory, 1872
The Great Seal of the State of Utah was
adopted on April 3, 1896, at the first regular session of the Legislature
(January, February, March, April 1896). The original seal
was designed by Harry Edwards and cost $65.00. The great seal is described in
Utah Code Annotated, 1953, Volume 7a, section 67-2-9 as follows:
Seal of the State of Utah shall be two and one-half inches in diameter, and
of the following device; the center a shield and perched thereon an American
Eagle with outstretching wings; the top of the shield pierced by six arrows
crosswise; under the arrows the motto "INDUSTRY"; beneath the motto a beehive, on either
side growing sego lilies; below the figures "1847"; on each side of
the shield an American Flag.; encircling all, near the outer edge of the
seal, beginning at the lower left-hand portion, the words, "THE GREAT SEAL OF THE
STATE OF UTAH", with
the figures "1896" at the base."
Seal of the State of Utah, 1896
Soon the seal
was represented full color.
Æ See illustration in the head of
regiments and separate battalions of the Utah Army National Guard: From
a wreath of colors, a beehive beset with seven bees, all Proper.
is the seal of the State of Utah.
for color bearing organizations of the State of Utah was approved on 20
Distinctive Unit Insignia
color metal and enamel device 1 inch (2.54 cm) in height overall blazoned:
On a wreath Or and Gules a bee hive beset with seven bees all Proper.
insignia is taken from the crest, which is the seal of the State of
Utah. As the territory was originally within the Spanish possessions,
the twists of the heraldic wreath are yellow and red.
insignia was originally approved for State Staff and State Detachment, Utah
Army National Guard on 16 September 1939. It was redesignated on 31
December 1970, for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and noncolor
bearing units of the Utah Army National Guard. The distinctive unit
insignia was redesignated effective 1 October 1982, for Headquarters, State
Area Command, Utah Army National Guard.
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
white disc with a 1/8 inch (.32 cm) blue border 2½ inches (6.35
cm) in diameter overall, a silhouette of the State of Utah bearing a Mormon
militiaman in white.
militiaman represents a member of the Mormon battalion, predecessor of the
present day Utah Army National Guard. Red, white and blue are our
The first design was approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Utah National Guard on 1 February 1956. It was amended to approve the insignia for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and other nondivisional units of the Utah National Guard. The first design was rescinded (cancelled) and a second design approved on 5 March 1964. The insignia was redesignated for Headquarters, State Area Command, Utah Army National Guard and the description amended on 30 December 1983. The third and current design of the shoulder sleeve insignia was authorized on 10 October 1996. (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-828).
Ute Indian Tribe
Northern Utes consist of the Tabeguache, Grand, Yampa, and Uintah clans. They
are living in the Uintah and Ouray reservation, located in N.E. Utah approximately
240 km. east of Salt Lake City on US Highway 40. The reservation is located
within a three-county area known as the "Uintah Basin". It is the
second largest Indian Reservation in the United States and covers over 18,200
km2. Its headquarters are at the town of Fort Duchesne, Utah.
of the Northern Utes shows a landscape and a sun-disk above, charged with and
eagle with a calumet decorated with
12 feathers in its claws, behind three men facing each other.
flag the arms are on a white cloth.
History of the Northern Utes see: http://uteindians.blogspot.nl/
© Hubert de Vries 2013-12-04
 Zieber, Eugene: Heraldry in America. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1895. Pp.183: Letter of Charles C. Richards, Esq., Secretary.