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The City of Portland, Oregon

Archives & Records Management

Office of the City Auditor

phone: 503-865-4100


1800 SW 6th Ave, Suite 550, Portland, OR 97201

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City Seal

Official Description

Current City Seal
On August 3, 2005 the City Council approved the first official update to the city seal since September 17, 1964 .  The new version provides a cleaner, crisper image that takes advantage of current reproduction technology, and continues to incorporate all of the design elements set forth in 1878.
Most of the symbols in the seal were described in records found in the City Archives; the intent of the remaining symbols remain undocumented. The female figure in the center of the seal represents Commerce, while the sheaf of grain, cogwheel, and sledgehammer symbolize the origins of the city, its culture, agrarian base, and industry. Raymond Kaskey's 1985 sculpture, Portlandia, was based on the figure of Lady Commerce from the Portland City Seal.



Versions of the City Seal used by offices during the years between original adoption in 1878 and standardization in 1964. From documents in the City of Portland Archives, located at the Portland Archives and Records Center.

 1880 City Seal  Seal from the "Annual Report of Officers of the City of Portland for the year 1879", printed in 1880.


 1881 City Seal  Seal from an 1881 City of Portland bearer bond.


1884 (City of East Portland)
 1884 City of East Portland Seal  

Seal from an 1884 City of East Portland bearer bond.


 1891 City Seal  Seal from an 1891 City of Portland bearer bond.


 1924 Seal  Seal from the 1924 City of Portland Department of Public Utilities letterhead.


 1929 City Seal  Seal from a 1929 City of Portland street widening bond.


 1941 City Seal  Seal from the 1941 City of Portland City Auditor letterhead.


 1951 City Seal  Seal from the 1951 City of Portland Department of Public Works letterhead.

 1964 City Seal  
Official seal from 1964 to August, 2005.