U.S. Department of  State
Dispatch, Volume 7, Number 37, September 9, 1996
Bureau of Public Affairs


1. A New Atlantic Community for the 21st Century--Secretary Christopher 

2. The Globe Program: Working Side by Side For the Environment--

3. The U.S., U.K., and France: A Convergence of Efforts for Peace--
Secretary Christopher, British Foreign Secretary Rifkind, French Foreign 
Minister De Charette 

4. Fact Sheet: The Great Seal of the United States


A New Atlantic Community for the 21st Century
Secretary Christopher
Address at the State Theater, Stuttgart, Germany, September 6, 1996

Minister-President Teufel, Foreign Minister Kinkel, Mayor Rommel, 
General Jamerson, Governor James, Congressman Roth, ladies and 
gentlemen: Before I begin today, let me pay a special tribute to my 
colleague Klaus Kinkel, who has meant so much to U.S.-German relations, 
who has been my close friend and confidant all through my 3-1/2 years as 
Secretary of State, and who invited me to come here today. I am very 
much indebted to you, Klaus. Thank you ever so much. I know that you'd 
all want me to thank the United States Air Force for playing music in 
the tradition of Glenn Miller and giving us so much pleasure here today. 
Let's give them a hand, too. When I finish my remarks today, I'm afraid 
there will be a new motto springing up from the audience, along the 
lines of more music, less talk. That's a motto that I can 
enthusiastically endorse. 

As you know, I have come to commemorate with you the "speech of hope," 
which my predecessor, Secretary of State James Byrnes, gave here in 
Stuttgart 50 years ago on this very day, in this very auditorium.  I 
have come to recall the half-century of progress we have achieved 
together since that speech and to discuss how we can assure a thriving 
partnership into the next century. 

It will come as no surprise that Secretary Byrnes, like many public 
officials, had some help in preparing his speech. His principal helper 
was John Kenneth Galbraith, the famous economist, author, and U.S. 
Ambassador to India. When I called Professor Galbraith a few days ago to 
reminisce about the Byrnes speech, he commented, with a smile in his 
voice, "I have never listened to a speech with a greater sense of 

Of course, all of Europe listened intently, for its future hung in the 
balance. The United States had joined with our Allies to win the war, 
because we knew America could not be free if Europe was not. But in 
1946, we had not yet won the peace. Though the first American care 
packages began to arrive in August of that year, a German reporter who 
traveled to Stuttgart with Secretary Byrnes could look from the train 
window and describe "countless women with tattered knapsacks . . . a few 
men plodding homeward in the dusk" returning to homes where "the 
children have no shoes, daughter has no coat, the house has neither 
window glass nor fuel in the cellar. And winter approaches." Meanwhile, 
to the east, liberation brought not liberty but a new communist tyranny 
that would divide families, nations, and the world.

Secretary Byrnes' address came to be known as the "speech of hope," 
because it put America firmly on the side of those who believed in a 
better future for Germany and Europe. The principles he expressed in the 
speech laid the foundation for our successful post-war partnership. They 
formed the basis for what became a bipartisan American strategy, 
symbolized by Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg, who was present at 
Secretary Byrnes' speech. The principles shaping our approach to Europe 
to this very day are the ones laid down by Secretary Byrnes.

First, Byrnes pledged that America would remain a political and military 
power in Europe. After World War I, we had withdrawn from European 
affairs and paid a terrible price. "We will not again make that 
mistake," Byrnes said. "We are staying here."

Second, Byrnes asserted that our support for democracy was the key to 
lasting peace and recovery in Germany and in Europe. "The American 
people want to return the government of Germany to the German people," 
he said. We were confident that a democratic Germany could emerge as our 

Finally, Byrnes expressed America's commitment to Germany's political 
and economic unity. The United States believed that Germany had to be 
united, democratic, and free if Europe as a whole was to achieve 
stability and integration.

Byrnes' far-sighted approach set the stage for George Marshall, Konrad 
Adenauer, Jean Monnet, and the remarkable generation that led the 
recovery of Europe and gave us 50 years of peace and prosperity. Thanks 
to them, we realized the promise of the speech of hope. America 
maintained its engagement and its armed forces in Europe. The German 
people chose freedom and achieved unification. And together, we stayed 
the course of the Cold War. Today, Checkpoint Charlie is no more than a 
museum for tourists. And at NATO headquarters, where we once planned to 
defend Berlin and Stuttgart from Soviet attack, the flags of 43 European 
nations, including Russia, now fly.

In the last half-century, the United States and Germany have built a 
relationship deeper than even the ties forged by our soldiers and 
diplomats. We have a cultural and intellectual partnership, so well 
represented by the Fulbright program, the Goethe Institute, the German 
Marshall Fund, and many, many others. We have an economic partnership, 
too: America is the top foreign investor in Germany, and it is the 
primary beneficiary of German foreign investment abroad. We also have an 
environmental partnership.  Together, for example, we are fighting toxic 
waste in eastern Germany, acid rain in Wisconsin, and deforestation in 

Fifty years ago, Secretary Byrnes said America wanted to "help the 
German people win their way back to an honorable place among the free 
and peace-loving nations of the world." Our shared achievement has been 
just plain breathtaking. Now this city and the land around it represent 
the Europe familiar to all of us: a place where democracy, prosperity, 
and peace have become a matter of course. Germany is the united heart of 
an increasingly united continent, and that continent now looks to 
Germany as a symbol and as a catalyst for the integration it is striving 
to achieve.

Yet for all the progress that we have made, we still have challenges to 
meet in Europe. The end of the Cold War did not bring an end to armed 
conflict on this continent. And while the division that resulted from 
the Cold War is fading, it has not been fully overcome. That division is 
still visible in the economic gulf between east and west. It is 
perceptible in the pollution that shortens lives from Ukraine to 
Silesia. Above all, it is tangible in the desire for greater security 
felt by citizens from the Baltic to the Black Sea, across a region where 
our century's two great wars as well as the Cold War began.  

In just a few years, we will begin a new century. Let me share with you 
the vision that President Clinton and I have for the United States and 
Europe in the next century. It is a vision for a New Atlantic Community. 
This community will build on the institutions our predecessors created, 
but it will transcend the artificial boundaries of Cold War Europe. It 
will give North America a deeper partnership with a broader, more 
integrated Europe on this continent and around the world. It carries 
forward the principles that Secretary Byrnes set forth 50 years ago 

As the next century dawns on this New Atlantic Community, our joint 
efforts will have made us confident that the democratic revolutions of 
1989 will endure, confident that wars like the one in Bosnia can be 
prevented, and confident that every new democracy--large and small--can 
take its rightful place in a new Europe. In this New Atlantic Community, 
the United States will be fully engaged--in partnership with our friends 
and allies and in a more effective European Union that is taking in new 
members. In this Community, NATO will remain the central pillar of our 
security engagement. It will be a new NATO, adapted to meet emerging 
challenges, with the full participation of all current allies and 
several new members from the east. NATO's Partnership for Peace and the 
OSCE will give us the tools to prevent conflict and assure freedom for 
all of our citizens. In our vision for this New Atlantic Community, a 
democratic Russia will be our full partner. Our economies will be 
increasingly integrated and thriving. Europe and America will be taking 
joint action against the global threats we can only overcome by working 

This is the kind of vision that gave our partnership strength and our 
people hope in the darkest, most dangerous days of this century. Ten 
years ago, it was still a dream. Ten years from now, the opportunity may 
be lost. But I believe we can realize it if we meet four challenges 
together in the final years of this century. 

The first challenge is to build a secure and integrated Europe, to erase 
the Cold War's outdated frontiers forever. The new democracies of 
central Europe and the New Independent States want to be our partners. 
It is in our interest to help them assume our shared responsibilities. 
It is in our interest to extend to them the same structure of values and 
institutions that enabled Western Europe to overcome its own legacy of 
conflict and division. It is certainly in Germany's interest to work 
with us and our other allies in this task, for it can make Germany's 
eastern border what its western border has long been: a gateway, not a 

At the January 1994 NATO summit, President Clinton proposed and our 
allies embraced a comprehensive strategy for European security. 
President Clinton believes that another summit is needed to complete the 
implementation of this comprehensive strategy. I would expect that our 
leaders will meet in the spring or early summer of 1997 at an extremely 
important summit. Their objective should be to agree on NATO's internal 
reforms, launch enlargement negotiations for NATO, and deepen NATO's 
partnership with Russia and other European states. 

The purpose of NATO reform is to ensure that NATO can meet new 
challenges in a Europe where no power poses a threat to any other. This 
year, my colleagues and I agreed on a historic program for building a 
new NATO. It will permit a more visible and capable European role in the 
alliance and add substance to the special European function of the 
Western European Union. It will improve NATO's ability to respond to 
emergencies and make it easier for our partners in Central Europe and 
the New Independent States to join us when we do. And it will preserve 
the qualities that have made NATO so effective. Our goal, ultimately, is 
a new NATO in which all of our allies, including France and Spain, will 
fully participate.

NATO enlargement, too, is on track, and it will happen. Right now, NATO 
is engaged in an intensive dialogue with interested countries to 
determine what they must do, and what NATO must do, to prepare for their 
accession. Based upon these discussions, at the 1997 summit we should 
invite several partners to begin accession negotiations. When the first 
new members pass through NATO's open door, it will stay open for all of 
those who demonstrate that they are willing and able to shoulder the 
responsibilities of membership. NATO should enter a new phase of 
intensified dialogue with all those who continue to seek membership 
after the first candidates are invited to join. 

Enlargement will ensure that NATO's benefits do not stop at a line that 
lost its relevance when the Berlin Wall fell. The steps our partners are 
taking to prepare for membership--strengthening democracy and building 
trust with their neighbors--have already given central Europe greater 
stability than it has seen this century. Indeed, no alliance has ever 
been more effective in preventing conflict than NATO. That is why we 
created it. That is why our partners in the Partnership for Peace wish 
to join it. And that is why NATO is at the heart of our European 

Of course, all of Europe's new democracies, whether they join NATO 
sooner, later, or not at all, deserve a full opportunity to help shape 
Europe's future. For this reason, we must expand the scope of NATO's 
Partnership for Peace.

Thanks to the Partnership for Peace, we can now form the first truly 
European-wide military coalitions in which soldiers from Russia and 
America, Poland and Ukraine, Germany and Lithuania train side by side, 
ready to deploy at a moment's notice to protect our security. To this 
end, we should expand the Partnership's mandate beyond its current 
missions. We should involve our partners in the Partnership for Peace in 
the planning as well as the execution of NATO's missions. We should give 
them a stronger voice by forming an Atlantic Partnership Council. In all 
of these ways, NATO gives us a foundation to build our New Atlantic 
Community--one in which all of Europe and North America work together to 
build lasting security.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is essential to 
this evolving community. That is evident from its important and 
courageous missions in Bosnia, Chechnya, and the Baltics. The Helsinki 
principles--respect for an open society and the rule of law--provided 
the guidepost for all we accomplished in the last decade, and they also 
shape our vision for the future. At the OSCE summit this December in 
Lisbon, we should build on these principles to define our security 
cooperation for the next century. In Lisbon, our leaders should take 
practical steps such as launching negotiations to adopt the CFE treaty 
to Europe's new security landscape.

Closer political cooperation in the European Union, and its coming 
enlargement, will contribute to the security and prosperity of the New 
Atlantic Community and strengthen the partnership between Europe and the 
United States. President Clinton has been a strong supporter of deeper 
European integration, reaffirming the commitment made, in earlier years, 
by President John Kennedy.

A critical goal of the New Atlantic Community is to achieve Ukraine's 
integration with Europe. Ukraine has embraced market democracy and given 
up nuclear weapons. It is seeking strong ties with Russia and central 
Europe and a close partnership with Western nations and institutions. We 
want to help Ukraine consolidate its independence by overcoming its 
severe economic problems, by gaining access to critical markets in the 
West, and by developing an enhanced partnership with NATO.

The vision I have outlined here today for the New Atlantic Community can 
succeed only if we recognize Russia's vital role in the New Atlantic 
Community. For most of this century, fear, tyranny, and self-isolation 
kept Russia from the European mainstream. But now, new patterns of trust 
and cooperation are taking hold. The Russian people are building a new 
society on a foundation of democratic and free market ideals. Though 
their struggle is far from complete, as the assault on Chechnya has 
demonstrated, the Russian people have rejected a return to the past and 
vindicated our confidence in democracy--the same kind of confidence that 
Secretary Byrnes expressed from this platform 50 years ago. Now, an 
integrated, democratic Russia can participate in the construction of an 
integrated, democratic Europe.

Today, I want to say this to the Russian people: We welcome you as our 
full partners in building a new Europe that is free of tyranny, 
division, and war. We want to work with you to bring Russia into the 
family of market democracies. We want you to have a stake and a role in 
the institutions of European security and economic cooperation. That is 
why we seek a fundamentally new relationship between Russia and the new 
NATO. Such a relationship, I am confident, is possible. It is important 
to all of us and we are determined to make it happen.

Russia's cooperation with NATO should be expressed in a formal charter. 
This charter should create standing arrangements for consultation and 
joint action between Russia and the alliance. 

NATO and Russia need a charter because we share an interest in 
preventing armed conflict. We are equally threatened by proliferation, 
nuclear smuggling, and the specter of disasters like Chernobyl. The 
charter we seek should give us a permanent mechanism for crisis 
management so we can respond together immediately as these challenges 
arise. Our troops should train together for joint operations. The 
potential of our partnership is already on display in Bosnia, where our 
troops are shouldering common burdens and sharing common achievements. 
Let us, with Russia, take the next logical step.

Our efforts in Bosnia have demonstrated both the possibilities and the 
urgency of building a New Atlantic Community. In many ways, Bosnia today 
stands where Europe stood in 1946: Its city parks have been turned into 
cemeteries; its children have known terror and hunger, and they have 
seen the destructive power of hatred. Yet, it also stands on the 
threshold of a better future. The war is over, and the way forward is 
clear: It depends on democracy, justice, and integration. Last month, I 
was in Sarajevo, and I saw the tremendous progress made since the Dayton 
Accord opened the way to peace. Germany's diplomacy, its economic aid, 
and its military contributions have all been vital in providing that new 
possibility for Bosnia and for all the people of that tragic country.  

In just a week from now, elections will be held to establish the 
institutions of a unified Bosnian state. Every party in Bosnia--both 
those in power now and the opposition--supports holding these elections 
on September 14. The Bosnian people clearly want to regain the voice the 
war denied them. Our task is to help them exercise that right under 
appropriate conditions. By postponing the municipal elections,  the OSCE 
has already sent a clear signal that basic standards must be met. We 
must have confidence in the power of democratic choice in Bosnia. We 
must also remember that elections are but a first step. We will have to 
work hard together over the long term to hold Bosnia's leaders to the 
commitments they made at Dayton and to help all the nations of  the 
former Yugoslavia as they seek to rejoin Europe.

Our second challenge in building a New Atlantic Community is to promote 
prosperity among our nations and to extend it globally. The United 
States and Europe have built the largest economic relationship in the 
world. It supports over 14 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. 

We must move toward a free and open Transatlantic Marketplace, as the 
United States and the EU foreshadowed in their summit meeting last 
December. As barriers fall and momentum builds, the boundaries of what 
seems feasible will certainly expand. We are already at a stage when we 
can realistically discuss the true integration of the economies of 
Europe and North America. We should now pursue practical steps toward 
even more visionary goals, such as reducing regulatory barriers.

Our vision for open trade and investment in the New Atlantic Community 
must be as broad as our vision of that community itself. In other words, 
it must extend to central Europe and the New Independent States, 
including Russia. President Yeltsin, for example, has made it a priority 
to open Russia to foreign investment, and President Clinton is 
personally committed to encourage that goal. We strongly support 
Russia's entry into the WTO on appropriate commercial terms. We 
understand that for Europe's new democracies, stability depends upon 
prosperity and on our willingness to open our markets to their products.

That is one reason we strongly support an expansive program for the 
enlargement of the European Union. The prospect of EU membership will 
help lock in democratic and market reforms in central and eastern 
Europe. It sets the stage for a true single European market. We believe 
that it should move forward swiftly.

Together, we also have a responsibility to ensure that the international 
economic system and its institutions are fit and ready for the 21st 
century. We have already worked together to reform the International 
Monetary Fund and the World Bank. We completed the Uruguay Round and 
created the World Trade Organization. At the WTO's first ministerial 
meeting this December in Singapore, we should push to complete the 
Uruguay Round's unfinished business and begin to set priorities for the 
next century. We must also do our part to ensure that the world's 
poorest nations benefit from open markets. All this is a task for the 
United States and Europe.

Our New Atlantic Community will only be secure if we also work together 
to meet the threats that transcend our frontiers--threats like 
terrorism, nuclear proliferation, crime, drugs, disease, and damage to 
the environment. The danger posed by these threats is as great as any 
that we faced during the Cold War. Meeting these threats is our third 
challenge for the waning years of this century, and I want to discuss 
today just two elements of it: terrorism and the environment. 

We must be united in confronting terrorism wherever it occurs. From the 
clubs of Berlin to the metros of Paris, from the sidewalks of London to 
the office towers of New York, lawless predators have turned our 
citizens into targets of opportunity and our public places into stalking 

President Clinton has pledged to lead an international effort against 
this common foe of terrorism. The strategy against terrorism that the 
President unveiled at the UN General Assembly last fall was a clear sign 
of our determination in this regard, and the 25 specific measures 
adopted by the G-7 nations and Russia adopted two months ago in Paris 
are a blueprint for putting terrorists out of business and behind bars. 
I urge all nations to implement them as soon as possible. 

Working together against state sponsors of terrorism is an imperative--
not an option. It is a cause to which all nations should rally. Our 
principled commitment to free trade simply does not oblige us to do 
business with aggressive tyrannies like Iran and Libya. We must join 
forces on effective multilateral measures that deny these rogue regimes 
the resources that they crave and need for their deleterious acts around 
the world. 

Iraq, too, is a sponsor of terror and, as we have seen, a continuing 
threat to peace in the Middle East. Let me express my deep appreciation 
to Chancellor Kohl, Foreign Minister Kinkel, and to Germany as a whole 
for supporting President Clinton's determined response to Saddam 
Hussein's new aggression.

Environmental threats also respect no borders. They harm our economies 
and the health of our people. That is why President Clinton and I have 
acted to place environmental issues in the mainstream of American 
foreign policy. 

Here in Europe, our most urgent environmental challenge is to repair the 
ravages done by decades of communist misrule. From the abandoned 
villages around Chernobyl, to the depleted forests in Siberia, to the 
rusted hulks of factories in central Europe, environmental damage is 
among the most devastating legacies that Europe's new democracies must 

Around the world, our cooperation can make 1997 the most important year 
for the global environment since the Rio summit five years ago. In this 
next year, we can provide leadership to achieve realistic, legally 
binding commitments to cut greenhouse gasses and their emissions. We can 
agree on sound management of the world's forests, a resource that 
Germans and Americans have always held so dear.

All the steps that I have suggested today will require our governments 
to work more closely together. But the strength of our relationship 
depends ultimately on the ties among our people. And that is the fourth 
and final challenge I wish to discuss today.

After World War II, Germany and the United States pioneered the people-
to-people programs of cultural and academic exchange that have been so 
important, and continue to be so important, to Americans and Europeans. 
Because of our partnership in the Cold War period, and the many things 
we had to do together then, millions of Americans lived and worked in 
Germany and Europe, and we could take it almost for granted that our 
people knew each other well. But now the Cold War is over, and we need 
to forge a new set of links. We need to build on the bonds being formed 
each day by our companies, our universities, our parliamentarians, and 
our non-governmental organizations. 

In November, the United States and  the EU will convene a conference to 
strengthen transatlantic exchanges. I have one particular idea to 
suggest to that conference: Let us create a Fellowship of Hope--an 
exchange between the foreign affairs agencies of the United States, the 
EU, and its member states so that our young leaders can work together 
and learn from each other. Our private sector can also do more. Today, 
500,000 Americans work for German firms, and 600,000 Germans work for 
American firms. Let us encourage all of our companies to follow the 
example some firms are already setting by expanding exchange programs 
for their employees. 

I am confident that our peoples and our governments alike can deepen the 
partnership that we have so long enjoyed. After all, the principles 
underlying that partnership--the principles that Secretary Byrnes 
expressed here--are enduring principles. In the west, they withstood the 
trauma of World War II.  In the east, they outlasted the purges and 
propaganda of communist rule. In the last decade, they inspired us to 
work together to unify Germany, to end the war in Bosnia, to support 
reform in Russia, and to forge the most open global trading system in 

All this began right here, amidst the rubble and despair of 1946. And if 
our hopes are high today, it is because of what Germany has achieved 
with its partners since then. Because of what we have done together, my 
country can look forward to a future partnership with a new Germany in a 
new Europe--a Europe where frontiers unite rather than divide; a Europe 
with horizons wider than its borders.  

We struggled with you to build this new Europe. And now, as my 
predecessor did 50 years ago, let me say on behalf of America:  We are 
staying here. We can meet the challenges I have outlined. We can build a 
free, united, and prosperous New Atlantic Community. And when we do, 
people around the world will be inspired by the example that Europe and 
America have set, just as we have been inspired by the example that 
Germany has set. Thank you very much.



The Globe Program: Working Side By Side For the Environment
Secretary Christopher
Remarks at a Globe Program event at the Flad Chemical Institute, 
Stuttgart, Germany, September 7, 1996 (introductory remarks deleted)

Since the Globe Program was launched by Vice President Gore in 1994--and 
I think it was on Earth Day--students from more than 3,000 schools 
around the world have begun to participate, and I think many more are to 
come. I have been told that they have sent more than 250,000 
observations on climate, land, biology, and geology to Boulder, 
Colorado, which you can see from the computer over there. Thirty-eight 
nations, as someone said, have now participated, but more are joining. 
And, as they do so, they will really provide an invaluable database for 
us to help grow more crops, help to predict the weather and floods, and 
really help to address what I think to be the number one environmental 
problem at the present time--and that is climate change.

I grew up in a small town in North Dakota in America's Midwest. It was 
long before the days of television--long before computers and the 
Internet. It didn't take a genius to learn in those days where we had 
40-degree below--and that is below zero--temperatures and extremely hot 
summers, how much the environment affected the way life was conducted 
and lived. I learned early in my life how much the environment had to do 
with whether we would be prosperous or poor. But certainly, it would 
never have dawned on me in those early days that by measuring 
temperature and rainfall here in Germany, you can help to determine 
climatic changes as far away as Brazil. But, even at my age, it is 
possible for me to learn something, and I do now know that what happens 
here affects all of us around the globe. And, as the young man said, 
what happens in Benin is likely to have a major effect here in Europe, 
as well as in the United States.

This Globe Program is an important part of what the Vice President has 
called a concerted effort to convince people that the global environment 
is part of their backyard. As Secretary of State, I've seen first-hand 
how the damage to the environment has extremely important effects--how 
it transcends borders and oceans. It affects the prosperity and well-
being of all of us around the globe.

One thing that has stood out to me  so strongly--as you know, the United 
States has taken a major effort to restore democracy in Haiti, and we 
have done that. But when we arrived there, I think we really had it 
brought home to us how much the environmental degradation will affect 
our ability to achieve progress and prosperity there. The denuding of 
that country--with 98% of the trees having been taken off the landscape, 
used for heating and other purposes--with the tremendous over-population 
of the country, the environmental damage there is certainly going to 
slow recovery. It has been a real lesson to me how important the 
environment is, and how much it affects our ability to achieve positive 
results.   I think that experience--and a dozen others like it around 
the world--has been one of the reasons that President Clinton and I have 
decided, with the urging, of course, of Vice President Gore, to put 
environmental issues right in the middle of foreign policy.

Once upon a time, people thought the environment and foreign policy were 
strangers. We have introduced them to each other in a very impressive 
way, because they affect each other so dramatically. And so, I am taking 
steps to make sure that, in all of our international conferences, in all 
of our bilateral meetings, we bring up environmental topics. We regard 
it as being a central part of American foreign policy. 

In the forthcoming year--that is in 1997--which is the fifth anniversary   
of the Rio Earth Summit, it can be a critical year of decision for us. 
In issues such as climate change, the spread of toxic chemicals, the 
meetings on sustainable management of the world's forests, several other 
major environmental issues and conferences will make 1997 a highly 
important year. And, in a way, I envy you, because you will be able to 
follow developments as you proceed with your training and as you proceed 
to check into Globe.

The United States and Germany have joined forces around the world to try 
to help the world in issues like security and prosperity, but I think 
your being here is a reminder that we have to work side   by side and 
shoulder to shoulder on environmental issues to promote broader 
international cooperation and try to ensure that we have an environment 
that is good, not only for you, but for your children and my 
grandchildren as well.

What you have done here, I think, is a shining example of the strong 
ties between our two countries and the young people in our two 
countries. What you are doing, I think, is not only transmitting the 
data but making all of you more conscious of the importance of the 
environment, thus leading to a better informed group of citizens on this 

I see a lot of future leaders as I look around this room. I know, as you 
go forward in your lives, you will take this experience along with you; 
you will be leading in your communities wherever you are, and you will 
be reminding diplomats and policymakers like me and my colleagues that 
there is a very important role for the environment.

So, I thank you all very, very much for this fascinating demonstration. 
I really now see how Globe works, and I am glad to see that sometimes 
your computers don't work either. You know, if everything had worked 
perfectly, I would have been sure it is a put-up job. Working our way 
through glitches of that kind is just part of the effort, isn't it. 
Thank you so much. 



The U.S., U.K., and France: A Convergence of Efforts for Peace
Secretary Christopher, British Foreign Secretary Rifkind, French Foreign 
Minister De Charette 

Secretary Christopher and British Foreign Secretary Rifkind
Opening remarks at press conference, London, United Kingdom, September 
5, 1996.

Foreign Secretary Rifkind. Good morning. We had very fruitful 
discussions, covering a range of issues, as you would expect. We spent a 
good bit of time on the situation in Northern Iraq, but we also looked 
at the wider Middle Eastern situation. Also we dealt with the matter on 
Bosnia and a range of other international and bilateral issues. Could I 
just very briefly say before handing over to   Secretary Christopher, 
that so far as the situation in Iraq is concerned, the United Kingdom's 
assessment of recent developments there is that we know the way in which 
Saddam Hussein operates. It is crucially necessary that whenever he 
initiates either repression or aggression, that he should end up losing 
more than he thinks he has gained. That has to be a clear and 
unambiguous outcome. And I believe recent events, including the 
extension of the no-fly zone, ought to have demonstrated to him 
unequivocally that his behavior has consequences very damaging to his 
regime. These should be the criteria that we apply, and we believe it 
right to do so. Could I now invite Secretary Christopher to say a few 

Secretary Christopher. Thank you. It is a great pleasure to be back here 
in London and particularly at a time when this extraordinary partnership 
that the United States has with the United Kingdom is on such important 

The strength of the partnership is reflected in the strong support that 
the United States has had in the issue that has come up in Iraq. We are 
very grateful to Prime Minister Major and Foreign Secretary Rifkind and 
the entire British Government for their unstinting support in the 
situation and the crisis at the present time in Iraq. The no-fly zone is 
now being fully enforced in its extended form, and, as the Foreign 
Secretary indicated, we think we have brought home to Saddam Hussein 
that there's a very high price for the kind of repressive conduct that 
he has taken in Northern Iraq. That will continue to be the standard by 
which we measure our actions together. 

I have come here as the first stop on  a trip to Europe, which gives me 
an opportunity to talk with my colleagues about the very important 
agenda we have for NATO this fall and leading up to the December 
meeting. We have talked this morning about the great importance to be 
attached to the September 14 elections in Bosnia, not only those 
elections but the government-building, the institution-building that 
must take place following the elections. This is going to be a very 
important autumn in the relationship between the United States and 

I am making a speech in Stuttgart tomorrow on the 50th anniversary of 
Secretary of State Byrnes' rather famous "speech of hope" in Stuttgart, 
in which the United States committed itself to remain in Europe, to 
stay. I have the same message. The United States continues to have a 
tremendous interest and tremendous determination to be a part of the 
European scene. We are here to stay as we were 50 years ago. So it has 
been a great pleasure to be here talking to my friend, Malcolm Rifkind, 
this morning, about our many shared interests and to express great 
appreciation for the support that we have from the United Kingdom on the 
most recent event and on the broader landscape of important issues that 
we have. Thank you very much.

Secretary Christopher and French Foreign Minister De Charette
Opening remarks at press conference, Paris, France, September 5, 1996.

Foreign Minister De Charette. Ladies and gentlemen: Thank you for coming 
out in such large numbers for this press conference. I have just had an 
excellent working meeting with Warren Christopher. You know that this 
meeting follows on the heels of a decision that was made in Lyon on June 
27, where we decided that in order to further enhance and strengthen 
Franco-U.S. concentration, we would be meeting together again--here in 
Paris--at the beginning of September. And we bid Warren Christopher and 
his entire staff a warm welcome here in Paris.

We have had in-depth talks during the working session. We have also 
decided to continue with this intensive Franco-U.S. cooperation and to 
see one another again at the end of November
in Washington. 

We obviously discussed a vast number of issues. I won't touch upon them 
all right now, but I would like to highlight just some of the most 
important points. Just to preempt any questions you might have on the 
subject--yes, we did, indeed, speak about Iraq. We have agreed to take 
the results of our talks forward to the meeting with the President of 
the Republic in just a few moments. Just after that is concluded, we 
will be able to share with you the results of our talks. Please be 

Obviously, we had in-depth discussions on all those issues that are most 
vital to Franco-American cooperation and concentration. One of the 
things that we noted was considerable convergence of views on the future 
of the Atlantic alliance and the security of European countries. One of 
the main topics that we discussed was, of course, the renovation of the 
alliance, which will be the object of the main decisions taken at the 
Brussels summit meeting. We also discussed the enlargement of the 
alliance, which will be placed against the backdrop of the broader 
context of security in Europe. Speaking on the issue of European 
security in a broader sense, we both agree that at the end of all of the 
work that lies ahead of us and at the end of the decisions that are to 
be taken, each party involved should be fully satisfied in its ability 
to freely determine the terms of its own security in Europe.

On Bosnia, we both recalled the deep and acute attention that both of 
our countries pay to developments there, and in particular to the full 
implementation of the terms of the agreement negotiated in Dayton and 
signed in Paris. This, obviously, covers the next milestone in the 
process--the elections to be held on September 14--and which should 
constitute a decisive step in the entire process. And, obviously, we 
will be paying careful attention to developments there. We also reached 
an agreement on the need to organize and to set up a peace consolidation 
plan in Bosnia. This is something that was done at the behest of France. 
The details of this shall be finalized during a ministerial-level 
steering committee meeting to be held sometime during the autumn. 

Obviously, we had an exchange of views, information, and analyses on the 
situation in the Middle East, once again underscoring our desire to see 
the peace process get on track. In fact, this has led us to the 
objective observation that there do not exist separate policies in the 
Middle East--a French policy and a U.S. policy--which are somehow very 
different in nature. Quite the contrary, what does exist is a 
convergence of efforts to make sure that the peace process does get back 
on track. 

I don't want to go on at any greater length. I'll hand over to Warren. 
But before I do leave, I would just like to once again stress that our 
meeting took place in an atmosphere that was very friendly, very 
serious, very dispassionate. Once again, what we saw was a strong 
convergence of projects and initiatives on both sides.

Secretary Christopher. Thank you very much. You have given such a 
comprehensive summary that there is little for me to do except first to 
thank you and your colleagues for your generous hospitality and for 
producing such a gorgeous day in Paris. I also want to thank you for 
preempting all the questions on Iraq. That is very thoughtful of you to 
do that. I want to emphasize the convergence of ideas and policies that 
came out of these discussions. I think this was probably the best 
meeting that we have had, the most harmonious one that made the most 
progress on these subjects. 

This is a big year for the alliance and for Western Europe. We have a 
great deal to do with the modernization of NATO--a new NATO in a new 
Europe. With the meeting this December of the North Atlantic Council, I 
think we have an opportunity to make great progress looking to the days 
of 1997.

In addition, on Bosnia, the upcoming elections and the formation of a 
government to follow the elections is the culmination of a great deal of 
work that we have done together--beginning from the earliest days and 
the culmination of the Dayton conference and now these events. 

One thing that I might add: We talked about the great importance of a 
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on which France and the United States have 
worked so closely together. In addition, I believe we are now up to more 
than 80 co-sponsors of the resolution at the General Assembly, based 
upon the Australian text, and are anxious to enlist additional co-
sponsors so that we can achieve a very positive result on that front. 

But with those very few additions, I just want to thank the Minister 
again for staging an excellent meeting for us here and for summarizing 
it so well.  



Fact Sheet: The Great Seal of the United States

Designing a Seal
The First Committee

Before it adjourned on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress of the 
newly independent United States passed a resolution:

Resolved, that Dr. Franklin, Mr. J. Adams and Mr. Jefferson, be a 
committee, to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of 

Thus, three of the five men who had drafted the Declaration of 
Independence were brought together in further service to their country. 
The revolutionaries needed an emblem and national coat of arms to give 
visible evidence of a sovereign nation and a free people with high 
aspirations and grand hopes for the future. The task proved far more 
difficult  than anticipated; it took six years, two more committees, and 
the combined efforts of 14 men before the Great Seal of the United 
States became a reality on June 20, 1782.

The challenge facing the committee was to translate intangible 
principles and ideals into graphic symbols. Three of the best minds of 
the Age of Enlightenment--Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson--struggled 
unsuccessfully with Biblical and classical themes, including the 
Children of Israel in the Wilderness and the Judgment of Hercules. 
Finally they sought the help of a talented "drawer" and portrait artist, 
Pierre Eugene du Simitiere. To the post of consultant, Du Simitiere 
brought some knowledge of heraldry--the art of describing coats of arms-
-and also experience in designing seals. 

Four features recommended by the first committee and its consultant were 
later adopted in the final seal: the Eye of Providence and the date of 
independence (MDCCLXXVI), both of which appeared on the final reverse 
side of the seal, and the shield and Latin motto, E Pluribus Unum (Out 
of many, one), on the obverse side.

The first committee submitted its design on August 20, 1776, but the 
Congress ordered the report "to lie on the table," indicating lack of 

The Second Committee

In March 1780, the Congress turned the design and final report of the 
first committee over to a new committee, composed of James Lovell, John 
Morin Scott, and William Churchill Houston. They asked Francis 
Hopkinson, the gifted Philadelphian who had designed the American flag 
and the great seal of the State of New Jersey, to serve as their 
consultant. They, too, failed to create an acceptable seal, but, 
influenced by the flag adopted in 1777, they contributed to the final 
design--13 red and white stripes, the constellation of 13 six-pointed 
stars, and the olive branch, a symbol of peace.

The Third Committee

In May 1782, the Congress appointed a third committee. The three 
members--John Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Elias Boudinot--did little 
or no serious work themselves, relying on the services of William Barton 
of Philadelphia. A young lawyer with artistic skill and well versed in 
heraldry, he became a central figure in the seal's refinement.

Barton's chief contribution at this stage was the eagle--not the 
American bald eagle but a small, crested white eagle "displayed" (with 
its wings spread). He combined it with a small flag and a design for the 
reverse, which contained a 13-step unfinished pyramid and the first 
committee's Eye of Providence. He quickly drew up two designs and their 
technical explanations, and the committee turned in its report five days 
after it was appointed.

Charles Thomson's Proposal

The Congress still was not satisfied. On June 13, 1782, it presented the 
collected work and recommendations of the three committees to Charles 
Thomson, Secretary of Congress. Thomson was not an artist, but he was a 
practical man with the ability to get things done. He selected the best 
features of all the previous designs, assigning prominence to the eagle. 
Feeling that the new nation's symbol should be strictly American, 
however, Thomson replaced Barton's crested Imperial eagle with the 
native American bald eagle, wings extending downward as though in 
flight. He placed in the left talon a bundle of arrows and in the right, 
the olive branch.

Thomson's modified crest (a device placed above the shield) was a 
constellation of 13 stars surrounded by clouds. The shield, borne on the 
eagle's breast, was a chevron design with alternating red and white 
stripes. Adopting the motto, E Pluribus Unum, from the first committee's 
report, Thomson included it on a scroll clenched in the eagle's beak. 
His was the first proposal in which the final design of the obverse can 
be seen.

In his design of the seal's reverse, Thomson retained the pyramid with 
the Eye of Providence in a triangle at the zenith and, as products of 
his Latin scholarship, introduced the mottos Annuit Coeptis (He [God] 
has favored our undertakings) over the eye and Novus Ordo Seclorum (A 
new order of the ages) beneath the pyramid. He gave his rough sketches 
and reports to Barton, depending on him to polish the designs.

The Final "Device"

Barton portrayed the eagle with its wings displayed, but with wing tips 
upward, and simplified Thomson's chevron arrangement of stripes on the 
shield. He arranged 13 vertical stripes, alternately white and red, 
below a rectangular blue "chief" (upper part of the shield). And he 
specified that the arrows in the eagle's left talon should number 13.

The designs were returned to Thomson on June 19, 1782. He made    a few 
alterations and overnight produced the "blazon" (written description) 
with accompanying "Remarks and Explanation" and presented them to the 
Continental Congress on June 20. The Congress acted the same day to 
adopt the report, which did not contain a drawing of either design.

Thus, nearly six years after establishment of the first committee, 
Charles Thomson and William Barton "brought in a device." The Great Seal 
of the United States was unique--simple and uncluttered, yet bold--the 
composite product of many minds.

Meaning of the Seal

Symbolically, the seal reflects the beliefs and values that the Founding 
Fathers attached to the new nation and wished to pass on to their 
descendants. The report which Thomson submitted to the Congress 
explained the obverse this way: The red and white stripes of the shield 
"represent the several states... supporting a [blue] Chief which unites 
the whole and represents Congress." The colors are adopted from the 
American flag: "White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & 
valour, and Blue, the colour of the Chief, signifies vigilance, 
perseverance & justice." The shield, or escutcheon, is "born on the 
breast of an American Eagle without any other supporters to denote that 
the United States of America ought to rely on their own Virtue."

The number 13, denoting the 13 original States, is represented in the 
bundle of arrows, the stripes of the shield, and the stars of the 
constellation. The olive branch and the arrows "denote the power of 
peace & war." The constellation of stars symbolizes a new nation taking 
its place among other sovereign states. The motto E Pluribus Unum, 
emblazoned across the scroll and clenched in the eagle's beak, expresses 
the union of the 13 States. Recent scholarship has pointed out the 
probable source of this motto: Gentlemen's Magazine, published in London 
from 1732 to 1922, was widely read by the educated in the American 
Colonies. Its title page carried that same motto, and it is quite 
possible that it influenced the creators of the seal.  

The reverse, sometimes referred to as the spiritual side of the seal, 
contains the 13-step pyramid with the year 1776 in Roman numerals on the 
base. At the summit of the pyramid is the Eye of Providence in a 
triangle surrounded by a Glory (rays of light) and above it appears the 
motto, Annuit Coeptis. Along the lower circumference of the design 
appear the words Novus Ordo Seclorum, heralding the beginning of the new 
American era in 1776. 

The Die Is Cut

The first die was cut from brass in 1782 by an engraver who has not been 
positively identified (possibly Robert Scot of Philadelphia). It is 
thought that Charles Thomson, since he was to have custody of the seal 
as Secretary of the Continental Congress, took it upon himself to find 
an engraver and someone to supply a suitable press. If Thomson provided 
a drawing to the engraver, it has disappeared and no drawing made by the 
engraver has been found. In any case, the seal and its press came into 
existence sometime between June and September 1782. They were placed in 
the State House in Philadelphia, and on September 16, Thomson used them 
for the first time. That first sealed document was a full power 
authorizing General Washington to negotiate and sign with the British an 
agreement for the exchange, subsistence, and better treatment of 
prisoners of war. It was signed by President of the Continental Congress 
John Hanson and countersigned by Secretary Thomson. Thomson continued as 
keeper of the seal until the Congress handed over power to the new 
government in 1789 and custody of the seal passed to the Secretary of 

The 1782 seal, now on public display in the National Archives, is rather 
archaic in appearance. It measures 25/16 inches in diameter and carries 
a relatively crude rendering of a crested eagle,1 thin-legged and 
awkward, its head protruding into the constellation of six-pointed 
stars. The bundle of 13 arrows and the olive branch, bare of fruit, are 
pressed against the border of modified acanthus leaves.

By 1841, the original die of 1782 had become worn, and a new steel die 
was cut by John Peter Van Ness Throop of Washington, DC. This die has 
been called "the illegal seal" because of its faulty design. Whereas the 
law called for 13 arrows in the left talon, Throop gave his eagle only 
6. It is assumed that he didn't work from the text of the resolution of 
1782 but rather from an impression made by the worn, original die, which 
would have shown a bundle of arrows but perhaps not the precise number. 
This may also account for the fact that he engraved five-pointed stars,2 
instead of the heraldic six-pointed stars of the original. However, 
these departures from the official design didn't affect the legality of 
the documents on which this seal was affixed. 

The Throop die is steel, 2-3/8 inches in diameter, about the same size 
as the original. In fact, it is thought that the same press was used for 
both. But the differences in style are marked: The border is without 
acanthus leaves; the whole design has been crowded upward; the eagle is 
more vigorous and uncrested; two arcs, instead of a straight line, form 
the top of the shield; and the olive branch bears fruit, i.e., four 

In early 1866, a crude counter-die of the die was cut for the first time 
and put into use. It was a duplicate cut in relief, apparently in 
bronze. Its purpose was to improve the impression from the die when a 
document was pressed between them. However, the impressions grew less 
distinct, and the die was retired after some 36 years of use.

With the celebration of the Centennial in 1876, Americans were reminded 
of their heritage, and interest was aroused in the origins and forms of 
the Great Seal. An article appeared in the press about this time 
revealing that there were "irregularities" in the 1841 die of the seal's 
obverse and that the reverse, although created by law in 1782, had never 
been cut.3  The Department of State seemed unaware of any public 
criticism, and the irregularities in the obverse were not corrected when 
the Throop die began to wear and a new die was cut during 1877. The 
engraver was Herman Baumgarten of Washington, DC, who followed the 
design of the 1841 die very closely, including the errors. The seal was 
the same size as its two predecessors, but Baumgarten enlarged the stars 
and the lettering on the motto. It is considered the poorest of all the 
Great Seal dies, and, ironically, it was the one in use for the Great 
Seal's own centennial in 1882.

By early 1881, the Department of State responded to comments from the 
public and the press about the errors and omissions, and bids were asked 
for   engraving a reverse and a new obverse to correct them. The firm 
selected was Tiffany & Co. in New York, and its head designer, James 
Horton Whitehouse, was asked to submit sketches. Whitehouse was a seal 
engraver, jewel cutter, and art designer of exceptional skill, taste, 
and artistic judgment. A great deal of research went into these two 
designs, going back to the original written description adopted in 1782. 
The Tiffany die of the obverse differs radically from all earlier dies. 
It is formal and heraldic, rather than realistic, and it served as the 
pattern for the die in use today. Its 3-inch diameter makes it larger 
than its predecessors, and the eagle once again carries 13 arrows. The 
olive branch has 13 leaves and 13 olives on it, and for the first time, 
the cloud of the crest is in the form of a complete circle.

But it is the eagle itself that has undergone the greatest change. Gone 
are the thin-kneed eagles with L-shaped legs, replaced by a muscular and 
unmistakably American bald eagle. More of the body appears above the 
shield, and the engraving is so skillfully done that the break between 
the white feathers of the head and neck and the dark feathers of the 
body is visible in both the die and the impressions. In another 
departure, the eagle grasps the olive branch and arrows in large, strong 
claws from behind, not from the front, as previously drawn.

Although a die for the reverse was ordered from Tiffany & Co. and funds 
were appropriated, the die was not cut. With the passing of pendant 
seals in 1871, there was no practical use for it.

After only 17 years of use, the steel Tiffany die of 1885 was no longer 
producing a sharp impression, probably due to a worn counter-die. 
Whatever the reason, the Department ordered a new die in 1902, and funds 
were appropriated. Although there was some debate about changing the 
design, the instructions that went to the Philadelphia firm of Bailey 
Banks & Biddle were to "furnish a facsimile" of the design of the 
Tiffany die "not later than June 15, 1903."4 The new die was engraved in 
hardened steel by Max Zeitler, and impressions from it are nearly 
identical to the 1877 die. There are differences, however. Impressions 
from the Zeitler die are sharper and clearer, particularly in the 
feathering of the eagle and in the 19 clouds of the crest. The eagle's 
feathers are more pointed, and its talons have shorter joints. Zeitler 
also corrected two heraldic errors which had been called to the 
Department's attention. But it takes close inspection to see any of 
these changes.

The Zeitler die of the Great Seal was first used on January 27, 1904, 
and remained in use for 26 years. In 1986, the Bureau of Engraving and 
Printing made a master die from which the present die and counter-die 
were produced. Future dies and counter-dies will be cut from this master 

Uses of the Seal and the Coat of Arms
The Great Seal is used to seal documents 2,000-3,000 times a year. 
Although custody of the first seal had been assigned to the Secretary of 
the Continental Congress Charles Thomson in 1782, the 1789 government 
assigned it to the Secretary of State. Mr. Thomson hand-carried the seal 
and press to President Washington; delivered his resignation with 
genuine regret; and surrendered the books, papers, and records of the 
late Congress. Thomas Jefferson thus became the first of a long line of 
Secretaries of State to have custody of the Great Seal.

The actual sealing is done by an officer from the Department's 
Presidential Appointments staff. At present, it is  impressed on the 
following types of documents after they have been signed by the 
President and countersigned by the Secretary of State:

-- Instruments of ratification of treaties and other international 
-- Proclamations of treaties and other international instruments;
-- Appointment commissions of Ambassadors, Foreign Service officers, 
Cabinet officers, and all other civil officers appointed by the 
President whose commissions are not required by law to issue under 
another seal; and 
-- Assignment commissions for consular officers.

The seal is also affixed to the envelopes that contain letters 
accrediting and recalling our ambassadors and other ceremonial 
communications from the President to heads of foreign governments.

The design of the obverse of the Great Seal, which is the coat of arms 
of the United States, is used by the government in many ways. It appears 
in some form on coins, postage stamps, stationery, publications, flags, 
military uniforms, public monuments, public buildings, passports, and 
other items the U.S. Government has issued, owns, or uses. In full 
color, it is displayed above the doors to all U.S. embassies, consulates 
general, and consulates throughout the world. It may also appear in 
black and white, and it may be printed, engraved, embossed, shown in 
relief, etched, carved, stamped, painted, lithographed, stitched, or 
reproduced by any other process appropriate to the materials being used. 
One of the more unusual uses of the coat of arms is in a stained glass 
window of the Prayer Room at the U.S. Capitol.

We see the seal design almost every day, both the obverse and the 
little-noticed reverse, as it passes through our hands on the $1 bill. 
In 1935, the Department of the Treasury sent President Roosevelt a new 
design for the bill, incorporating the obverse and reverse of the Great 
Seal. After approving it rather routinely, the President changed his 
mind, scratched out his signature, and inked in several significant 
changes. He switched the obverse and reverse and added "The Great Seal" 
under a rough outline of the pyramid and "of the United States" under an 
even rougher sketch of the eagle, and initialed the whole "FDR." Upon 
receipt, Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing duly noted 
"Received by the Engraving Division June 26, 1935," and revised the 

Requests To Use the Great Seal And Coat of Arms

All of these uses of the Great Seal die and the design, or coat of arms, 
are official. Often private, non-official requests to use one or the 
other come to the Department of State. The Great Seal can be affixed 
only as provided by law, and impressions of the seal cannot be made for 
display purposes or in response to requests for souvenirs or samples. 
This position has been applied not only to impressions made from the 
present die but also to impressions from earlier dies still in 

As for the coat of arms, the Department has expressed concern in the 
past over the increasing tendency to use it in commercial enterprises 
and in ways that give the impression of U.S. Government sponsorship or 
involvement. However, it is the Department's current practice not to 
provide an opinion as to the suitability of proposed uses. The matter of 
legality is left to the Department of Justice. Title 18 of the U.S. 
Code, as revised in January 1971, prohibits use of the likeness of the 
Great Seal or any facsimile in "any advertisement, circular, book, 
pamphlet, or other publication, play, motion picture, telecast, or other 
production" for the purpose of conveying a false impression of 
sponsorship or approval by the U.S. Government under threat of a fine of 
not more than $250 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.

Great Seal Today

Sealing of Documents
In the Department of State, the term "Great Seal" has come to include 
not just the die, but the counter-die, the press, and the cover, or 
cabinet in which it is housed, as well. These stand in the Exhibit Hall 
of the Department, inside a glass enclosure which is kept locked at all 
times, even during the sealing of a document. The mahogany cabinet's 
doors are also kept locked, and the press is bolted and padlocked in 
position except when in use. The seal can be affixed only by an officer 
of the Department of State, under the authority of its custodian, the 
Secretary of State. When there are documents ready for sealing, one of 
the officers carries them to the enclosure where the Great Seal is kept 
and prepares them for impressing. 

First, a 3-3/4-inch, scalloped, blank paper wafer of off-white linen 
stock is glued in the space provided for it to the left of the 
document's dating clause. If ribbons are used in binding the document, 
they are run under the paper wafer and glued fast. 

Second, the document is inserted between the counter-die, with the wafer 
carefully lined up between them. 

Third, the document is held in place with the left hand, and the 
weighted arm of the press is pulled sharply forward with the right hand-
-from right to left. This drives the die down onto the wafer, document, 
and counter-die, which impresses the seal in relief. The die is then 
raised, releasing the document and allowing for its removal. When an 
envelope containing letters of credence or recall is to be sealed, the 
wafer is impressed first and then glued to the sealed envelope, leaving 
the envelope itself unmarked.

The Great Seal on Display
The Great Seal is no longer portable as it was in Charles Thomson's day. 
Although the seven Great Seals have had many homes and have been in the 
custody of 58 Secretaries of State since Thomas Jefferson first took the 
responsibility, only the 1904 seal seems to have found more or less 
permanent quarters.

In 1955, it was put on public display for the first time during a 
ceremony in the Department of State lobby opening an exhibit on the 
history of the Great Seal, after which it was returned to the mezzanine 
where the public could view it.

On September 16, 1957, the 175th anniversary of the earliest known use 
of the seal, another public ceremony took place, and four documents were 
sealed by the Acting Secretary of State, before television and movie 

It was not until March 1961 that the Great Seal was placed in what 
every-one considered its first appropriate location--the Exhibit Hall of 
the Department. This hall is on the first floor, centered between the 
north and south open-air courts which lie straight    ahead of the 
diplomatic entrance at 2201 C Street NW. There the Great Seal, the 
press, and the cabinet are on display today.

On June 15, 1982, Secretary of State Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr., hosted a 
ceremony commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Great Seal of the 
United States--June 20, 1982. This was also the inaugural for the new 
enclosure and exhibit in the Hall for the Great Seal. 

Great Seal Origins
Great seals have their origins in the royal seals of the 7th, 8th, and 
9th centuries, but the first seal to be called "great" was that of 
England's King John (1199-1216). The King's Chamber acquired a smaller 
seal of its own, called the "privy seal," for use in the sovereign's 
private business, and thereafter the King's seal became known as the 
"Great Seal." The U.S. seal is called "Great Seal," although no "lesser" 
seal exists. 

Charles Thomson's "Remarks and Explanation," Adopted by the Continental 
Congress, June 20, 1782

"The Escutcheon is composed of the chief [upper part of shield] & pale 
[perpendicular band], the two most honorable ordinaries [figures of 
heraldry]. The Pieces, paly [alternating pales], represent the several 
states all joined in one solid compact entire, supporting a Chief, which 
unites the whole & represents Congress. The Motto alludes to this union. 
The pales in the arms are kept closely united by the chief and the Chief 
depends on that union & the strength resulting from it for its support, 
to denote the Confederacy of the United States of America & the 
preservation of their union through Congress."

"The colours of the pales are those used in the flag of the United 
States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness 
& valour, and Blue, the colour of the Chief signifies vigilance, 
perseverance & justice. The Olive branch and arrows denote the power of 
peace & war which is exclusively vested in Congress. The Constellation 
denotes a new State taking its place and rank among other sovereign 
powers. The Escutcheon is born on the breast of an American Eagle 
without any other supporters [figures represented as holding up the 
shield] to denote that the United States of America ought to rely on 
their own Virtue."

"Reverse. The pyramid signifies Strength and Duration: The Eye over it & 
the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in 
favour of the American cause. The date underneath is that of the 
Declaration of Independence and the words under it signify the beginning 
of the New American era, which commences from that date." 

The Masi Treaty-Seal Die of 1825
European custom in the late 18th century called for the use of pendant 
seals on certain state documents, such as treaties. These seals 
consisted of impressions of the die on red or white wax discs, which 
were then placed in silver or silver gilt boxes called skippets. The 
seal and skippet were suspended from the document being sealed by heavy 
ornamental cords that bound the pages together, passed through the seal 
and its box, and ended in tassels.

The United States did not begin to use pendant seals until 1815 (on the 
instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Ghent), and then it used the 
die of the 1782 seal to make the wax impressions. But its small size 
compared unfavorably with the impressive European pendants. Seraphim 
Masi of Washington, DC, was asked to design a special treaty seal. He 
produced an elegant and graceful design, quite in contrast to the 1782 
seal, and 4-11/16 inches in diameter. He didn't follow the official 
description of 1782 closely but produced a realistic, uncrested eagle 
turned slightly to one side, as though resting on the branch of an olive 
tree. He clearly defined 13 arrows, made the shield narrower and more 
pointed and altered its crest, and centered the motto, E Pluribus Unum, 
over the eagle's head. This beautiful seal was used for treaties until 
1871, when the government ceased using pendant seals and retired the 
die. It is available for viewing in the National Archives. 

Designs of the Reverse
Although drawings of the obverse side of the Great Seal were done 
immediately upon adoption of the design in 1782, the first reverse was 
not drawn until 4 years later. A Philadelphia engraver, James Trenchard, 
working from the written description, produced a full-page engraving of 
the reverse for the October 1786 issue of Columbian Magazine. He 
followed the law closely and produced an elongated, 13-step unfinished 
pyramid, with the two mottos, the date in Roman numerals, and the Eye of 
Providence in a blaze of glory.

The second drawing of the reverse was probably done by the artist and 
historian, Benson J. Lossing, to accompany an article he wrote on the 
Great Seal for the July 1856 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine. 
Lossing gave his rather square pyramid a deep perspective and filled the 
ground around it with flowers and grass. He also changed Trenchard's 
right Eye of Providence to a left eye, which it has been ever since. 
This drawing has influenced all later realizations of the written 
description of 1782, with the exception of the Great Seal Centennial 
Medal struck in 1882. The back of this medal, which followed closely 
Trenchard's design, was the first realization of the reverse to be 
issued officially by the U.S. Government.

The design for the reverse was made available by the Continental 
Congress in case it was desired to impress the back surfaces of wax 
pendant seals. The United States used pendant seals for treaties from 
1815 to 1871, but the backs were never impressed. Enthusiasm for cutting 
a die of the reverse has diminished, and to this day one has not been 
cut. The current official design of the reverse of the Great Seal 
follows almost exactly the Lossing drawing and can be seen on the $1 


1  The eagle on the Great Seal has always faced to its own right. The 
eagle that faced to its own left (toward the arrows) was in the 
Presidential seal and this was the design President Truman altered in 
1945 when he ordered the eagle's head turned toward the olive branch.

2  This innovation has been carried from die to die through the one now 
in use.

3  Charles Thomson's written description, as adopted by the Continental 
Congress, provided for the reverse in case it was decided to impress the 
back of pendant seals. It was never intended that it be used apart from 
the obverse. A design was drawn  in 1786, another in 1856, but no die 
was produced and pendant seals carried only the obverse of the seal.

4  Actual delivery was delayed until January 1904, although the press is 
engraved "June 15, 1903." The die has been referred to as the die of 
1903 because of this, but the 1904 dates is more customary.  



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