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U.S. Department of Education, Official Seal

Three main parts comprise the seal for the Department of Education (NCES' parent federal agency) - the tree, the leaves, and the sun rays. The U.S. Army Heraldry Directorate worked with the Secretary of Education to design the seal.

Official Seal of the U.S. Department of Education

"With its sturdy trunk set in solid earth, the tree expresses the confidence and strength imparted to the individual through the development of the mind and the assimilation of knowledge. The glory and satisfaction of achievement are exhibited in its leaves. The background of sun and rays suggests the role of the Department in the promotion, nurturing, and encouragement of the best in all aspects of the nation's educational system."

Former Secretary of Education, Shirley Mount Hufstedler, selected the seal's design in 1980. The Department Flag on which the seal appears was unfurled for the first time on May 7 at 3 PM on the South Lawn of the White House and in front of the Federal Office Building where the Department is housed.