City Seal

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City Seal
Click the seal to enlarge the image


The City Seal is rich in symbolism and history.

In 1969, the City Council contacted the College of Arms in London, which had recently designed the Loudoun County seal. However, this partnership required a letter from the Virginia governor that expressly allowed a liaison between the city and an agent of the British crown. Upon request from Mayor George Hamill, Governor Mills Godwin provided the letter, and the project could proceed.

City Council created the City Seal Commission on January 6, 1970, and appointed five members to coordinate all matters pertaining to the design and acceptance of the seal: Will Carroll, Edith Malone Farr Elliott, Leonard Mobley, Kitty Barrett Pozer, and Virginia Inez Stamler.

The seal in use today was finalized and formally adopted by the City Council on September 11, 1973, and the College of Arms document is on display in City Hall. Information: 703-385-8414.

The Shield represents the family of the Lords Fairfax of Cameron, with whom the city is historically connected. Three silver bars are bordered in red. The lion has feet and claws extended, symbolic of defending the city. The shield is bordered in blue with stars (for the United States) and dogwood flowers (for Virginia).

The Crest is a mural crown, atop which is a seated Griffin with his head facing right. The Griffin, a hybrid animal, represents the relationship between Great Britain and the United States, seated in symbolism of amicably solving any problems.

The Supporters flank the shield. The Confederate soldier dressed as a junior officer of the American Civil war represents John Quincy Marr, the first combat death of the war. The other figure alludes to Thomas, the sixth Lord of Fairfax, from whom the city derived its name and the owner of the land royally granted from King Charles II.

The Motto, Fare Fac, was used by the Fairfax family and translates from the Latin as “speak-do,” or more freely translated as, “Say it and do it."

The seal is surrounded by a border of blue with gold rope edging, and the city’s name and six dogwood flowers. The date below the seal recognizes the city’s foundation in 1805.