The Georgia state seal was first specified in 1777 and adopted by the Georgia Constitution in 1798. The current state seal was adopted in 1914. A number of changes have been made to the Georgia state seal since it was first adopted.
The face of the state seal displays the state coat of arms. The three pillars on the state seal symbolize the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the government with the word "Constitution" prominently displayed over the pillars. The constitutional principles of wisdom, justice and moderation are written on banners that surround the two outside pillars. A man holding a sword in his right hand is stationed between the second and third pillars to symbolize defense of the constitution and its principles.
During the Reconstruction period between 1868 and 1871, the Georgia state seal was hidden by Nathan C. Barnett from the Reconstruction government and not used for any official state business. A duplicate state seal was fabricated by the Reconstruction government for this period of time that differed only in the man holding the sword in the left hand instead of the right. The original seal was returned to the state capital when Nathan C. Barnett was re-elected Secretary of State in 1872 by the Georgians who took back control of the government.