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Illinois State Symbols

Welcome to Illinois! (Continued below)

Illinois State Flag
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames The Prairie State, Corn State  
Slogan The Land of Lincoln 1955
Symbols of State
Motto State Sovereignty, National Union
Song Illinois 1925
Flower violet (Violaceae) 1907
Wildflower milkweed (Asclepias) 2017
Tree white oak (Quercus alba) 1973
(former) oak (Quercus) 1908
Prairie Grass big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) 1989
Grain corn (Zea mays) 2017
Vegetable sweet corn 2015
Fruit Gold Rush Apple (Malus domestica) 2007
Bird cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 1929
Animal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) 1982
Reptile painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) 2005
Amphibian eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) 2005
Fish bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) 1986
Insect monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) 1975
Mineral fluorite 1965
Fossil † Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium) 1989
Soil Drummer 2001
Cultural Symbols
Artifact pirogue 2016
Snack Food popcorn 2004
Pie pumpkin pie 2015
Exercise cycling 2017
Pet shelter dogs and cats 2017
Tartan Illinois Saint Andrew Society tartan 2012
Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1990
Theater The Great American People Show 1995
Language English Redundant Symbol 1969
(former) American 1923

Before you dismiss Illinois as just another boring state in the Midwest, take a look at its symbols. Whan on Earh is a Tully monster? And why did Illinoisans adopt corn as a symbol three times?

Illinois is nicknamed The Land of Lincoln, yet its state motto alludes to states’ rights, not slavery. Is that a subtle reminder that Lincoln was, believe it or not, a racist?

I prefer the nickname Prairie State, which is complemented by Illinois’ official state grass, insect, and wildflower—big bluestem, the monarch butterfly, and milkweed.

Illinois is among the growing number of states that are taking a fresh look at their flags. Illinois’ flag doesn’t appear to be racist, and it’s far from the ugliest state flag. Still, there is a lot of room for improvement.

What is your favorite Illinois symbol, and what do you think a new Illinois flag should look like?

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