Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.
You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
The first Great Seal committee (1776) recommended the Latin phrase, "E pluribus unum." Consultant and artist Pierre Du Simitière chose the motto, and his design is essentially an expression of this theme.
It translates as: "Out of many, one" — an obvious reference to the thirteen colonies united into one nation, as symbolized by the shield on the eagle's breast. As explained in the official description of the Great Seal: The shield is composed of thirteen vertical stripes that "represent the several states all joined in one solid compact entire, supporting a Chief, which unites the whole & represents Congress. The Motto alludes to this union."
This motto was well known to literate Americans of the 18th century. It appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine, published in London from 1731 to 1922. The legend "E Pluribus Unum" was used on the title pages printed for the annual volumes which contained a collection of the year's twelve monthly issues of the magazine. (This is an interesting incidence of the number thirteen: twelve publications bound together by the thirteenth.) The motto also had been associated with the image of a hand holding a bouquet of flowers.
Symbols of unity were abundant during the 1770s and '80s, especially on continental currency. One bill depicted a golden candlestick with thirteen lighted candles giving "one and the same light." An eight-dollar note had a harp with thirteen strings and a Latin motto meaning, "The larger are in harmony with the smaller."
The legendary "Fugio" coins and currency, designed by Benjamin Franklin in 1776, depict a circle of thirteen interlocking rings surrounding the motto, "We Are One." On the obverse, a sun dial and the word Fugio (I fly). Underneath is the phrase, "Mind Your Business."
I hope you'll find this interesting... and thanks for grading answers