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Cuccinelli gives Virginia state seal a makeunder

Monday, May 3, 2010; B03

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) says he gave staff members lapel pins of Virginia's seal in which the chest of the traditionally bare-breasted Roman goddess Virtus is covered by an armor plate to offer a different and historic pin, not because he was looking for a more modest symbol.

In the official state seal, the bare-breasted warrior stands atop the prone figure of the male Tyranny. The Virginian-Pilot reported Saturday that the conservative attorney general joked that his version was more modest when he distributed the new pins. They feature a seal of Virginia that was in use before the current seal was formally adopted in the 1930s. In that version, the Roman goddess's bosom is covered by a plate of armor.

Cuccinelli said Sunday that his crack about Virtus becoming more virtuous was merely designed to get laughs from employees.

-- Rosalind S. Helderman

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