Lawmaker Says State Seal Gets Illinois' Birthday Wrong: Report

Republican state Rep. Tim Butler wants to update Illinois’ official seal to reflect the date the state joined the union, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The state’s seal currently features the date August 26, 1818, which is when Illinois passed its first constitution. Butler reportedly wants to change the date to December 3, 1818, when Illinois entered the union as the 21st state.

“In my mind, the December 3rd date is the beginning of our state,” Butler told the Tribune. “It is when President Monroe signed the congressional resolution authorizing us to join the other states as the 21st state in the union."

The measure passed the Illinois House and now awaits approval from the Illinois Senate and Gov. Bruce Rauner, according to the Tribune.

Butler’s measure wouldn’t require the state to replace old state seals, which can be found throughout the Capitol. Instead, the legislation would require changes to plates on machines in the secretary of state’s office that emboss documents. A spokesman for Butler wouldn’t provide a cost estimate, but said the process wouldn’t be expensive.

Republican state Rep. David Harris reportedly scrutinized the changes, pointing to the fact that August 26 is still an important date in Illinois’ history. However, Butler claimed it’s important to reflect when Illinois joined the union as the state gears up for its bicentennial in 2018, the Tribune reports.

“Looking forward to the bicentennial year, I think these are things that we need to take a look at,” he said.

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