THE MARSHALL ISLANDS WERE CLAIMED BY SPAIN AS PART OF SPANISH Oceania. In 1874 the Spanish sovereignty
was recognized by the international community. They were sold to Germany in
1884 through papal mediation.
trading company settled on the islands in 1885. They became part of the
protectorate of German
New Guinea some years later.
29, 1914, Japanese troops occupied the atoll of Enewetak, and on September
30, 1914 the atoll of Jaluit the administrative center of the Marshall
Islands. After the war, on June 28, 1919, Germany renounced all of its
Pacific possessions, including the Marshall Islands. On December 17, 1920,
the Council of the League of Nations approved the mandate for Japan to take
over all former German colonies in the Pacific Ocean, located north of the
equator. The administrative center of the Marshall Islands atoll remained
In World War II, the United States, during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, invaded and occupied the islands (1944) destroying or isolating the Japanese garrisons. The archipelago was added to the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, along with several other island groups in the South Sea.
On 1 May 1979 the territory was granted autonomy and the
Goverment of the Marshall Islands was officially established. It became a
sovereign state, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, on 28. December 1990.
The seal shows a bird, wings expanded, symbolizing the Angel of Peace. It is surrounded by (clockwise):
1. A 24-pointed star, of which 21 rays represent the
municipalties of the Republic and of which four longer rays represent the
four sub-centers of Majuro (the
capital), Jaluit, Wotje, and Kwajalein Atolls. Between:
2. Two orange and
white parted triangles from the national flag, the
orange symbolizing bravery, the white symbolizing peace. The triangles also
symbolize the two ranges of atolls, the Ratak (Sunrise-) and Ralik (Sunset-)
3. A fishing net
symbolizing the main food of the people of the Marshall Islands
4. An ourigger
5. A listel with
the word ‘SEAL’
6. An atoll with
7. A pestle made
of a giant clam (Tridacna gigas). This kind of pestle is cherished by
every family of the Marshall Islands and is used to crush pandanus
leaves for making mats, sails and clothing.
The central part is surrounded by a bordure bearing the legend GOVERNMENT OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS and JEPILKILIN KE EJUKAAN, the motto meaning: Accomplisment Through Joint Effort.
Around all is a chain symbolizing the unity of the
islands, one half representing the
Ratak range, the other half the Ralik range. 
seal is in blue and golden rendering as shown. A modern, coloured version shows
the field blue, the charges brown and white, the chain gold. In this version
the sun has only 18 rays, two of them longer.
illustration in the head of this essay.
© Hubert de Vries 2009-11-23
which also remarks: A person who uses the seal or a
representation of it, or anything that so resembles the seal as to be
calculated to deceive or advertise or promote any commercial purposes, or for
any purpose whatsoever without the permission of the Cabinet, shall be guilty
of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less
than $500 and no more than $2500, a term of imprisonment of not less that 6
months nor more than one year or both. Each individual use of the seal shall be
considered a separate offense.