The State of California
Spanish-Mexican Commemorative Seal
The Spanish-Mexican Seal, created by Susan Shelton and fellow artist Donna Billick, commemorates the sovereignty, history, and contributions of Spanish-Mexican California. From the first Spanish settlement in 1769 until 1848, when the United States took possession of California from Mexico, the Spanish presence and Mexican influence flourished. The symbols on the seal portray the dynamic Spanish and Mexican traditions that continue in California today.
A Spaniard's profile and the frontal view of an indigenous person are depicted in the center of the seal. A third face emerges when the viewer's eye combines the images. This central image contains the meaning of the entire seal as it captures the shared history and the melding of cultures.
The other images in the seal follow the first encoutner of the two cultures and chronicle the ensuing transformations. The three rings around the central figure contain powerful symbols and icons representing the Spanish, Mexican, and Spanish-Mexican-Californian periods.
The Spanish-Mexican Commemorative Seal was installed on the West Steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento, California in 2002.
Click here to read a detailed description of imagery in the Spanish-Mexican Seal