New Smithsonian Seal Approved

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A new Smithsonian seal is approved, in the form of the sun with alternating straight and wavy rays representing heat and light -- "The Sun in His Splendor." It bears the inscription: "Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C." The seal was designed at the request of Secretary S. Dillon Ripley to coincide with the bicentennial of James Smithson's birth.


  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001
  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Bicentennial Celebration Commemorating the Birth of James Smithson 1965


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Smithsonian Institution Archives, Information File, Folder Smithsonian Insignia, "The Smithsonian Seal, Symbol of the Institution." Undated brochure prepared by the Smithsonian Office of Architectural History and Historic Preservation.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


June 3, 1966


  • Seals (Numismatics)
  • Secretaries

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