The new national great seal (Guksae) was adopted on February 1, 1999, to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Korea and to reflect the cultural heritage. Though the inviolable authority and sacredness of the national great seal have faded since the days when Korea was under monarchs who needed the royal seal to rule, its symbolic importance remains. The seal symbolizes national authority, power, and culture so it is used on important national documents, such as the Constitution, certificates of national decorations, appointments of government managerial officials, diplomatic credentials, and important diplomatic papers, as the final seal of approval.
- The handle of the is a modernistic sculpture of a pair of phoenix about to take flight with a rose of Sharon, the national flower, in its beak to symbolise the wish for Korea to become a central nation in the world in the 2000s, with national fortunes rising like the flight of the phoenix.
- The face of the seal is patterned after the seal used by King Sejong the Great (r. 1418-1450) of the Joseon Kingdom, who had his scholars develop Hangeul in 1443. The Korean letters for Daehanminguk (the Republic of Korea) are caved into the face of the seal.
- The seal is made of 18k gold, weighs 2.15 kilograms. is 10.1 centimeters square and 10 centimeters tall.