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Statutes Governing Use of the Washington State Seal

RCW 1.20.080 State seal.

The seal of the state of Washington shall be, a seal encircled with the words: "The Seal of the State of Washington," with the vignette of General George Washington as the central figure, and beneath the vignette the figures "1889" and shall be composed as appears in the illustration below: (For the illustration, please refer to paperback RCW.) [1967 ex.s. c 65 § 1.]

Chapter 43.04 RCW Use of state seal.

RCW 43.04.010 Legislative findings.
RCW 43.04.020 Definitions
RCW 43.04.030 Use of state seal -Official purposes.
RCW 43.04.040 Use of state seal -Commemorative and souvenir items -Historical, educational, and civil purposes -Application -Fee -Licensing agreements -Rules.
RCW 43.04.050 Use of state seal -Prohibitions -Imitations.
RCW 43.04.060 Endorsements prohibited.
RCW 43.04.070 Civil penalties -Injunctions.
RCW 43.04.080 Investigations -Enforcement.
RCW 43.04.090 Criminal penalty.
RCW 43.04.100 Deposit of fees, penalties, and damages -Use.
RCW 43.04.900 Severability

RCW 43.04.010 Legislative findings. The legislature finds that the seal of the state of Washington is a symbol of the authority and sovereignty of the state and is a valuable asset of its people. It is the intent of the legislature to ensure that appropriate uses are made of the state seal and to assist the secretary of state in the performance of the secretary's constitutional duty as custodian of the seal. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 1.]

RCW 43.04.020 Definitions. Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "State seal" means the seal of the state as described in Article XVIII, section 1 of the state Constitution and in RCW 1.20.080.
(2) "Secretary" means the secretary of state and any designee of the secretary of state. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 2.]

RCW 43.04.030 Use of state seal -Official purposes. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the state seal shall be used for official purposes only. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 3.]

RCW 43.04.040 Use of state seal -Commemorative and souvenir items -Historical, educational, and civil purposes -Application -Fee -Licensing agreements -Rules.
(1) The secretary of state may authorize the use of the state seal on commemorative and souvenir items, and for historical, educational, and civic purposes. Such authorization shall be in writing.
(2) Application for such authorization shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by a filing fee, the amount of which shall be determined by the secretary of state. The secretary shall set the fee at a level adequate to cover the administrative costs of processing the applications.
(3) If the secretary determines that a permitted use of the seal could financially benefit the state, the secretary may condition authorization upon a licensing agreement to secure those benefits for the state.
(4) The secretary of state shall adopt rules under chapter 34.05 RCW to govern the use of the seal in a manner consistent with this chapter. Any rule governing the use of the seal shall be designed to prevent inappropriate or misleading use of the seal and to assure tasteful and high-quality reproduction of the seal. The rules shall also prescribe the circumstances when a licensing arrangement shall be required and the method for determining licensing fees. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 4.]

RCW 43.04.050 Use of state seal -Prohibitions -Imitations.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in RCW 43.04.040, the state seal shall not be used on or in connection with any advertising or promotion for any product, business, organization, service, or article whether offered for sale for profit or offered without charge.
(2) The state seal shall never be used in a political campaign to assist or defeat any candidate for elective office.
(3) It is a violation of this chapter to use any symbol that imitates the seal or that is deceptively similar in appearance to the seal, in any manner that would be an improper use of the official seal itself.
(4) Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the reproduction of the state seal for illustrative purposes by the news media if the reproduction by the news media is incidental to the publication or the broadcast. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a characterization of the state seal from being used in political cartoons. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 5.]

RCW 43.04.060 Endorsements prohibited. No use of the state seal may operate or be construed to operate in any way as an endorsement of any business, organization, product, service, or article. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 6.]

RCW 43.04.070 Civil penalties -Injunctions. Any person who violates RCW 43.04.050 (1) or (3) by using the state seal or an imitative or deceptively similar seal on or in connection with any product, business, organization, service, or article shall be liable for damages in a suit brought by the attorney general. The damages shall be equal to the gross monetary amount gained by the misuse of the state seal or the use of the imitative or deceptively similar seal, plus attorney's fees and other costs of the state in bringing the suit. The "gross monetary amount" is the total of the gross receipts that can be reasonably attributed to the misuse of the seal or the use of an imitative or deceptively similar seal. In addition to the damages, the violator is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the court in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars. In imposing this penalty, the court shall consider the need to deter further violations of this chapter.
The attorney general may seek and shall be granted such injunctive relief as is appropriate to stop or prevent violations of this chapter. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 7.]

RCW 43.04.080 Investigations -Enforcement. The secretary of state shall conduct investigations for violations of this chapter and may request enforcement by the attorney general. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 8.]

RCW 43.04.090 Criminal penalty. Any person who wilfully violates this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 9.]

RCW 43.04.100 Deposit of fees, penalties, and damages -Use. All fees, penalties, and damages received under this chapter shall be paid to the secretary of state and with the exception of the filing fee authorized in RCW 43.04.040(2) shall be deposited by the secretary into the capitol building construction account in the state treasury, for use in the historical restoration and completion of the legislative building. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 10.]

RCW 43.04.900 Severability -1988 Chapter 120. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected. [1988 Chapter 120 Section 13.]

RELATED STATUTES:

RCW 2.08.050 Seal of courts. The seals of the superior courts of the several counties of the state shall be, until otherwise provided by law, the vignette of General George Washington, with the words "Seal of the Superior Court of . . . . . . County, State of Washington," surrounding the vignette. [1890 p 345 § 17; RRS § 38.]

RCW 3.54.030 Seal. The district court shall have a seal that shall be the vignette of George Washington, with the words "Seal of the . . . . . . District Court of . . . . . . County, State of Washington," surrounding the vignette. All process from the court runs throughout the state. The supreme court may determine by rule what process must be issued under seal. [1999 c 152 § 2; 1992 c 29 § 1.]

RCW 5.52.060 Seal and revenue stamp, how described. Whenever any document to be sent by telegraph bears a seal, either private or official, it shall not be necessary for the operator in sending the same, to telegraph a description of the seal, or any words or device thereon, but the same may be expressed in the telegraphic copy by the letters "L.S.," or by the word "seal," and whenever any document bears a revenue stamp, it shall be sufficient to express the same in the telegraphic copy, by the word "stamp," without any other or further description thereof. [Code 1881 § 2359; 1865 p 76 § 18; RRS § 11350.]