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Have you ever wondered why Stanford is represented by the color cardinal, and not the original choice of gold? Or why the university's motto is in German?

This exhibit explores the historical elements underlying the design and adoption of Stanford's insignia. Prominently featured is the Stanford Seal, which includes the German motto “Die Luft der Freiheit Weht,” as well as the Palo Alto tree ("El Palo Alto"), a historical landmark still standing on the east bank of the San Francisquito Creek.

Also included are designs for many of Stanford's coats of arms and flags: the symbols of heraldry developed by Professor Eric Hutchison (Chemistry) to represent the university's schools in 1967. Learn more about the development and meaning behind Hutchinson's heraldry, and browse his designs (including designs for a Stanford seal, and university crests, that were never adopted).