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It was not until the early 1830s that the first settlements were established at Galveston. During the period of the Texas Republic, however, the city soon prospered into a major seaport, and became the base for the Navy of the Republic of Texas.
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of the Great State Seal of Texas
There shall be a Seal of
the State which shall be kept by the secretary of state, and used by
him officially under the direction of the governor. The Seal of the
State shall be a star of five points, encircled by olive and live oak
branches, and the words, "The State of
Texas." Texas Constitution, article IV, section 19.
In days when communications were transcribed by hand and tediously undertaken,
seals served to authenticate official government documents.
In this day of computers and instant communications, seals still serve
the same purpose. Since revolutionary times, Texas has chosen the Lone
Star as its symbol. Despite the fact that Texans were at war with the
federal government sitting in Mexico City, the Texas Provisional Government
took the time to adopt an emblem of "a single star of five points, either
of gold or silver" as the "peculiar emblem" of the Republic on March
12, 1836, only ten days after declaring independence!
Nine months later this "peculiar emblem" provided the bases for the
first Texas seal, which in two years would finally take on the form that
we recognize today. This simple and graceful design now appears on official
documents, identifies state aircraft, and adorns both the original and
new portions of our capitol building.
It came to former Secretary of State John Hannah, Jr.'s attention in
1991 that although the secretary of state is the official keeper of the
state seal, there was no uniform representation of what this seal actually
looked like. He therefore appointed a committee that after much research
agreed upon a uniform design for the state seal, state arms, and reverse
of the state seal.
Although the Great Seal of the State of Texas was adopted in 1876 by
the Texas State Constitution in Article IV, section 19, the earliest
legislature concerning the Seal predates Texas' annexation to the United
Governor Henry Smith's Private Seal
Governor Henry Smith, the head of the Provisional Government of Texas
established in November 1835, used his private seal on December 28, 1835,
to seal an official document appointing John Forbes, Sam Houston, and
John Cameron as commissioners to negotiate with various Indian tribes: "I
Henry Smith Governor as aforesaid have hereunto set my hand and affixed
my private seal, no seal of office being yet provided." Some historians
speculate that the private seal Smith used was actually a button which
had an eight-petaled daisy design, but this cannot be confirmed by examining
the original document in the custody of the Texas State Library and Archives
The first Congress of the Republic of Texas passed the first seal act
signed by President Sam Houston on December 10, 1836 stating; "That
for the future the national seal of this republic shall consist of a
single star, with the letters 'Republic of Texas' circular on said seal,
which said seal shall also be circular."
Three years later, Oliver Jones introduced another bill, signed by President
Mirabeau B. Lamar on January 25th, 1839 that declared the "national arms
of the Republic of Texas be... a white star of five points, on an azure
ground, encircled by an olive and live oak branches."
The three items contained in the seal are symbolic of the Texas Republic.
The star represents the Republic itself. The olive branch symbolizes
peace. Finally, the live oak, native to Texas, stands for strength and
After the second act was passed, the artist P. Krag was paid eight dollars
for his draft of the seal. There are other renditions of the seal, but
the Krag seal is considered the most authentic.
Note; P. Krag also designed the "Lone Star Banner"
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*Some information provided by Office of the Secretary of State of Texas