After Their Seal is Mocked Online, Missouri County Asks For Help Designing New One

Otis Adams

It might be news to many that county seals even exist. They do, and the seal of Saint Francois County in Missouri has perhaps become one of the most well known in the country.

The county seal was panned on Reddit as a Crappy Design. On the site where many aspiring Don Rickles test out their talents at insult comedy, the seal has been criticized for its use of clip art to create a too-busy image to appear on county government letterhead.

The county seal which contains images of a bald eagle, a pickax and shovel, Christian symbols, an image of the county map, an American flag, and a good deal of text was designed by Presiding Commissioner Harold Gallaher in 2018. He told NPR that a seal was needed because the only version that existed before his was in the form of needlework on fabric.

So, with some simple software, I brought up this new one, and we've adopted that now as our county seal. (Harold Gallaher in 2018)

Gallaher has reacted to the online commenters with grace and a new contest has been planned to create a replacement for his county seal.

Design Contest for New Seal

At their Tuesday meeting, Gallaher joked about not being artistically inclined as they discussed the contest that will hopefully produce a county seal up to the standards of commenters on Reddit.

The prize fund for the contest will not be provided by taxpayer dollars. Instead, county officials have collected donations amongst themselves to award to the winner.

The details of the contest to create a new seal for Saint Francois County will be announced at Tuesday's county commission meeting. In the meantime, if you have ever wanted to design a government seal, start brainstorming ideas.

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Author of Lavatory Reader #1: This Road, now available on Amazon. New Twitter @OtisAdamsWrites. Otis Adams is an award-winning writer with three books under his belt and two dozen awards boxed up in his closet for his screenplays and short fiction. He writes regularly on and can be contacted at

Columbia, MO

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