Dams, water, and the Arizona state seal

Arizona state seal

Arizona state seal

Arizona’s state seal is a fascinating bit of iconography in light of the state’s uneasy relationship with aridity and developed water. A dam, a river and irrigated land are given center stage – water projects as state destiny. Today I learned¬†the seal’s details are actually enshrined in the state constitution:

In the background shall be a range of mountains, with the sun rising behind the peaks thereof, and at the right side of the range of mountains there shall be a storage reservoir and a dam, below which in the middle distance are irrigated fields and orchards reaching into the foreground, at the right of which are cattle grazing.

The clouds, apparently, are optional.

Roosevelt Dam was not yet completed when the above language was written during the 1910 constitutional convention, but those gathered were all about the future.