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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Spanish-Mexican Seal

The Spanish-Mexican Seal, created by Susan Shelton and Donna Billick, is one of the Commemorative Seals of the State of California. The seal documents the history of Spanish and Mexican Sovereignty in California in a series of concentric rings progressing outward from a central image.
Spanish-Mexican History commemorative medal
A Spaniard’s profile and the frontal view of an Indigenous person are depicted in the image at the center of the seal. A third face emerges when the viewer’s eye combines the Spanish and Indigenous images together to form the Mexican. This central image contains the meaning of the entire seal as it captures the melding of the two cultures to form a unique Californian mestizo culture. All of the other images in the seal follow the first encounter of the two cultures and chronicle the ensuing human evolution.

The first ring surrounding the faces portrays the period of Spanish Sovereignty, form 1769-1822, and includes many symbols of government.

The second ring depicts the period of Mexican rule, from 1822-1846, and conveys the lifestyle of Californians of this era.

The outer ring is a series of images which are familiar to us as contemporary Californians, and which relate directly to the fusion of our Spanish, Mexican, and California relationship through history. Together with the California Indian Seal, the Spanish/Mexican Seal was installed at the West Steps of the State Capitol in May of 2002.

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