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The name of the state is the spanish word for ‘covered with snow’. The territory was discovered in 1775 by Francisco Garcès. By Treaty of Guadeloupoe Hidalgo Mexico ceded Nevada to the United States as a part of California. In 1850 Nevada was separated from California and added to Utah. In 1861 it became a territory of the U.S. which became the 36th state of the United States on 31 October 1864.


An Act of the Legislature of 1861 provided for a Territorial Seal designd as follows:

Mountains with a stream of water coursing down their sides and falling on overshot wheel of a quartz mill at the base. A miner leaning on his pick and upholding a United States flag, with a motto expressing the two ideas of loyalty to the Union and the wealth to sustain it: Volens et Potens.


Seal for the Territory of Nevada

 designed by Orion Clemens, Mark Twain's brother


“Several designs were made and submitted for a State Seal, none of which proved acceptable. The Legislature in 1866 passed an Act providing for ‘a Seal of State for the State of Nevada.’ It is described in the Act as follows: ‘The Great Seal of the State of Nevada.’ the design of which shall be as follows to wit: In the foreground two large mountains, at the base of which, on the right there shall be located a quartz mill, and on the left a tunnel penetrating the silver leads of the mountain, with a miner running out a carload of ore and a team loaded with ore  for the mill. Immediately in the foreground there shall be the emblems indicative of the agricutural resources of the State: a plow, a sheaf, and a sickle; in the middle ground a train of tailroad cars passing a mountain gorge; also a telegraph line extending along the line of the railroad. In the extreme background a range of snow-clad mountains, with the rising sun in the east; thirty -six stars to encircle the whole group in an outer circle, the words, “The Great Seal of the State of Nevada,”to be engraven, with these words for the motto of the State: “All for our country.”’” [1] [2]


Seal of the State of Nevada, 1866


Nowadays the seal is usually depicted full color.


Æ See illustration in the head of this essay.


Nevada State Area Command [3]




Heraldry Image - Crest



That for regiments and separate battalions of the Nevada Army National Guard: From a wreath of colors, within a garland of sagebrush a sledge and miner's drill crossed in saltire behind a pickax in pale Proper.


The miner's tools are within the sagebrush.  The miners are a great source of wealth in Nevada and the State flower is the sagebrush.


The crest for color bearing organizations of the State of Nevada was approved on 15 February 1924. It was amended to correct the description on 1 November 1926.

Distinctive Unit Insignia


Heraldry Image - Distinctive Unit Insignia



A silver color metal and enamel device 2.86 cm in height overall consisting of a silver five-pointed star resting on the head of a vertical silver pickax in front of a silver sledge, head on the left, and a silver miner's drill crossed saltirewise below the pickax head, all handles to base and in front of a light blue background, all enclosed in base by a silver garland of sagebrush, terminating at the sides in back of a scarlet scroll arched across the top above the star and inscribed "ABOVE THE REST" in silver letters. The area on each side of the star between the scroll and pickax head is pierced.


The miner's tools within a garland of sagebrush are suggested by the crest for the Nevada Army National Guard. The light blue background and the star are suggested by the shoulder sleeve insignia. Silver alludes to the Nevada nickname "The Silver State;" sagebrush is the State flower.


The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and noncolor bearing units of the Nevada Army National Guard on 4 February 1972. It was redesignated effective 1 October 1982, for Headquarters, State Area Command, Nevada Army National Guard.


Shoulder Sleeve Insignia


Heraldry Image - Shoulder Sleeve Insignia



On a blue background in the shape of the State of Nevada with a 0.32 cm white border, 5.40 cm in width and 8.89 cm in height overall, a star one point up within an open garland of sagebrush, both white.


The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Nevada National Guard on 21 May 1952.  It was redesignated with description amended on 30 December 1983, for Headquarters, State Area Command, Nevada Army National Guard. (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-166)



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© Hubert de Vries 2014-01-31




[1] Biennia Report of the Secretary of State of Nevada, by Hon. O. II Grey.

[2] Zieber, Eugene: Heraldry in America. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1895. P. 150

[3] Retrieved from the site of the American Institute of Heraldry

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