From Ohio History Central
The State of Ohio has had an official seal for more than two hundred years. Over that time, the state government has modified the seal several times. The current state seal was adopted in 1996.
The seal illustrates Ohio's diverse geography. In the background stands Mount Logan in Ross County. Separating Mount Logan from the rest of the seal is the Scioto River. In the foreground is a freshly harvested wheat field. In the field stands a sheaf of wheat, illustrating the importance of agriculture in Ohio. Nearby stand seventeen arrows that resemble the sheaf of wheat. The seventeen arrows represent Ohio's Native Americans as well as the fact that Ohio was the seventeenth state to join the United States of America. At the top of the seal is the sun, with thirteen rays protruding outwards. The thirteen rays represent the thirteen colonies that became the original thirteen states of the United States. Some early versions of the seal also had a canal boat on the river.
According to historical lore, the seal was based on the eastern view from Adena, the home of Thomas Worthington near Chillicothe. Worthington was one of Ohio's first two United States senators and he served as the sixth governor of the state. Today, Adena is a museum operated by the Ohio Historical Society. Most scholars now believe that Adena's view did not inspire the seal.