Seal of the State Signals Transfer of Power

The State Seal in the governor's office The State Seal in the governor's office

 

Minutes before Pat McCrory is publicly sworn in as governor in the Old Senate Chamber on Saturday, a lesser-known transfer-of-power ceremony will take place. The ceremony centers around the Great Seal of the State, which symbolizes the change in authority from one governor to the next. The seal is kept by State Archives but generally remains in the governor’s office at the State Capitol. The ceremony is actually quite simple. Outgoing Governor Beverly Perdue will read an oath to Governor-Elect McCrory, which he will then repeat. McCrory will then make an impression of the seal on a piece of paper and deposit it into his official papers, which are also maintained by the State Archives. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Chief Justice Sarah Parker will stand by as witnesses as will any others McCrory chooses to invite. The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina has its origins in the colonial era and officially became the responsibility of the governor under the state constitution of 1776. Since that time, its design underwent major changes in 1974, 1835, 1893 and 1971. A minor change—commemorating the date of the Halifax Resolves—was also made in 1983. You can check out the evolution of the seal’s design from 1665 to present in the diagram above from the N.C. Museum of History.

Changes to the State Seal. Click for the full size. Changes to the State Seal. 

 

Cultural Resources has some other great resources related to the seal and gubernatorial inaugurations, including:

For more on this year’s inauguration, check out the official 2013 Inauguration website.

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