The Governor shall procure for the State a seal, which shall be called the great seal of the State of North Carolina, and shall be two and one-quarter inches in diameter, and its design shall be a representation of the figures of Liberty and Plenty, looking toward each other, but not more than half-fronting each other and otherwise disposed as follows: Liberty, the first figure, standing, her pole with cap on it in her left hand and a scroll with the word "Constitution" inscribed thereon in her right hand. Plenty, the second figure, sitting down, her right arm half extended towards Liberty, three heads of grain in her right hand, and in her left, the small end of her horn, the mouth of which is resting at her feet, and the contents of the horn rolling out.
The background on the seal shall contain a depiction of mountains running from left to right to the middle of the seal and an ocean running from right to left to the middle of the seal. A side view of a three-masted ship shall be located on the ocean and to the right of Plenty. The date "May 20, 1775" shall appear within the seal and across the top of the seal. The date "April 12, 1776" shall appear within the seal and across the bottom of the seal. The words "esse quam videri" shall appear at the bottom around the perimeter. The words "THE GREAT SEAL of the STATE of NORTH CAROLINA" shall appear around the perimeter. No other words, figures or other embellishments shall appear on the seal.
It shall be the duty of the Governor to file in the office of Secretary of State an impression of the great seal, certified to under his hand and attested by the Secretary of State, which impression so certified the Secretary of State shall carefully preserve among the records of his office. (1868-9, c. 270, s. 35; 1883, c. 392; Code, ss. 3328, 3329; 1893, c. 145; Rev., s. 5339; C.S., s. 7646; 1971, c. 167, s. 1; 1983, c. 257, s. 1.)