John P. McDonough, Secretary of State
The Great Seal of Maryland
The Secretary of State was given an additional responsibility in 1853 when he was made official custodian of the Great
Seal of Maryland. Since that year,
the Secretary of State has had physical custody of the successive
Great Seals, and is responsible for applying the seal to those official documents where required by
law or custom. The original die of the Great Seal of 1876 (now damaged) was created in accordance
with Joint Resolution No. 5 of the 1876 General Assembly session. The seal was engraved upon brass
and executed in Paris in late 1878 or early 1879. This embossing seal, impressed an image of the Great
Seal directly into the paper. Today the seal is embossed or printed onto foil disks that are later
applied to the document.
Additional information on the Great Seal
Use of Facsimile of the Great Seal of Maryland - Form
The Secretary of State of Maryland is designated by law as the custodian of the Great Seal of Maryland. Because of this statutory responsibility, the Office has historically given its view as to whether a particular use is appropriate and lawful under
Criminal Law Article, §§10-701- 10-706, as that law has been interpreted by the Attorney General. Please be aware that misuse of a facsimile of the Great Seal of Maryland is subject to a penalty.
Application Form - pdf