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Utah S.A.C.

Ute Indian Tribe

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The State 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.’


The Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado may have crossed into what is now southern Utah in 1540, when he was seeking the legendary Cíbola.

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.

Some years 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.

Statehood was 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



When Brigham 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.


Deseret Stone



The 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.’” [1]


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:

"The Great 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 this essay



Utah State Area Command





That for regiments and separate battalions of the Utah Army National Guard:  From a wreath of colors, a beehive beset with seven bees, all Proper.


The crest is the seal of the State of Utah.


The crest for color bearing organizations of the State of Utah was approved on 20 February 1924.

Distinctive Unit Insignia




A Gold 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.


The 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.


The 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




On a 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.


The militiaman represents a member of the Mormon battalion, predecessor of the present day Utah Army National Guard.  Red, white and blue are our national colors.


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



The 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.


The seal 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.


On the flag the arms are on a white cloth.



For the History of the Northern Utes see: http://uteindians.blogspot.nl/



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© Hubert de Vries 2013-12-04


[1] Zieber, Eugene: Heraldry in America. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1895. Pp.183: Letter of Charles C. Richards, Esq., Secretary.

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