In this thread, started by Maister more than a year ago, he asks Cyburbians to tell the history of their community. That thread was inspired by a comment I made earlier about how it seemed like most of the communities I worked with, and many of those I didn't, all have the same history: a man named Ezekiel or Jebidiah , "the first white settler", builds a grist or lumber mill, which in turn is followed by someone named Obidiah or Zacharia who opens the first tavern. Alternatively, the tavern comes first, followed by the mill.
I'm going to make a similar argument regarding the seals of most American cities, towns and villages. (For those outside the US, heraldry of government entities is quite odd; there's no coats of arms, but rather round-ish seals.) I think most municipal seals look alike, all having a few common themes. These include one or more of the following:
- The county courthouse or city hall.
- A "charter oak" or similar tree.
- Pioneers, wagons and carts, and the like.
- The geographic outline of the city, town or village boundaries.
- Archaic industrial symbolism such as gears, smokestacks, steam locomotives, a man driving a sledgehammer, and so on.
- A big honkin' star (in Texas).
Often, seals haven't been updated in decades, so they'll contain politically incorrect imagery such as churches, bibles, crosses, or this:
So, what's in your seal?