State Seal of New Mexico

New Mexico’s first Territorial Seal was designed in 1851, shortly after the United States’ acquisition due to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. While there is no record of the original Territorial Seal – which according to the New Mexico Secretary of State may be encapsulated in the Soldier’s Monument on the Santa Fe Plaza – a similar seal emerged in the 1860s that featured both the American Bald Eagle holding some arrows and shielding a smaller Mexican Eagle with its wings, symbolizing the change of sovereignty from Mexico to the United States in 1846. The Seal also featured the year of NM receiving territorial status: MDCCCL (1850). 

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In 1882, Territorial Secretary W.G. Ritch added to the seal the Latin phrase “Crescit Eundo” or “It Grows as it Goes.”  This version of the seal was officially adopted as New Mexico’s “official seal and coat of arms” by the territorial legislature in 1887.

After statehood in 1912, the legislature commissioned a group of important folks to design the official New Mexico State Seal. In June 1913, the Commission, which consisted of Governor William C. McDonald, Attorney General Frank. W. Clancy, Chief Justice Clarence J. Roberts, and Secretary of State Antonio Lucero. The only substantive change was the date from MDCCCL to 1912.

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New Mexico State Seal Statutory Authority

The coat of arms of the state shall be the Mexican eagle grasping a serpent in its beak, the cactus in its talons, shielded by the American eagle with outspread wings, and grasping arrows in its talons;  the date 1912 under the eagles and, on a scroll, the motto:  “Crescit Eundo.”  The great seal of the state shall be a disc bearing the coat of arms and having around the edge the words “Great Seal of the State of New Mexico.

NMSA § 12-3-1

Further Reading: