History of the State Seal and Embosser

Hawaiʻi state embosser

The Hawaiʻi State Seal, positioned between the Hawaiian and American flags, was adopted on August 21, 1959, marking Hawaiʻi’s statehood. The seal bears the motto “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono,” which means “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” 

Similarly, to the design of the state flag, the seal pays tribute to the eight major islands with eight stripes on the heraldic shield and eight taro leaves at the bottom. This symbolism signifies the unity of the islands. 

Beyond its symbolic importance, the state seal holds practical significance in the administrative duties of the Lieutenant Governor. Documents like name changes and apostilles necessitate the seal for certification. A 30-pound embosser that has been in use since the beginning of statehood and crafted by the Mattos family, is used to imprint the seal onto these essential documents. 



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