The bald eagle represents the United States. In its beak it holds a streamer with the state motto on it. The state motto means that Illinois governs itself under the government of the United States. In the eagle’s claws is a shield with thirteen bars and thirteen stars, this represents the first thirteen states. The two dates on the boulder are the dates of Statehood and of the State Seal. The ground around it symbolizes the state’s rich prairie soil.