The Arms of the United States of America

Without a doubt, the most frequently seen heraldic achievement in daily life in America is the arms of the United States. Not only are these arms emblazoned on and in federal buildings but they are the basis of the flag and seal seen at every Presidential press conference. Most of all, we see the arms every time we pull a dollar bill out of our wallets. The American Heraldry Society is pleased to bring you the most complete history and explanation of the national coat of arms of the United States available on the internet.

This article draws extensively on the authoritative official history of the great seal of the United States, with which the arms are inextricably linked, Richard S. Patterson and Richardson Dougall, The Eagle and the Shield: A History of the Great Seal of the United States, Department of State Publication 8900 (Washington: Department of State, 1978).