Welcome to the Show Me State! Generally speaking, Missouri’s state symbols aren’t terribly unique or exciting. Then again, no other state calls the hawthorn blossom its state flower or the pawpaw its official fruit tree. (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||The Show Me State, Bullion State, Lead State, Cave State, Ozark State|
|Symbols of State|
|Motto||Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto||>|
|Flower||hawthorn blossom (Crataegus)||1923||>|
|Tree||American dogwood (Cornus florida)||1955||>|
|Fruit Tree||pawpaw (Asimina triloba)||2019||>|
|Grass||big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)||2017||>|
|Grape||Norton/Cynthiana grape (Vitis aestivalis)||2003||>|
|Tree Nut||black walnut (Juglans nigra)||1990||>|
|Bird||eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis)||1927||>|
|Game Bird||bobwhite (Colinus virginianus)||2007||>|
|Animal||Missouri mule (Equus)||1995||>|
|Horse||Missouri Fox Trotting Horse (Equus caballus)||2002||>|
|Reptile||three-toed box turtle (Terrapene carolina)||2007||>|
|Amphibian||bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)||2005||>|
|Endangered Species||hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis)||2019||>|
|Fish||channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)||1997||>|
|Aquatic Animal||paddlefish or spoonbill (Polyodon spathula)||1997||>|
|Insect||honeybee (Apis mellifera)||1985||>|
|Fossil †||crinoid (Delocrinus missouriensis)||1989||>|
|Dinosaur †||Parrosaurus (formerly Hypsibema) missouriensis||2004||>|
|Dessert||ice cream cone||2008||>|
|Historical Dog||Old Drum||2017||>|
|Wonder Dog||Jim the Wonder Dog||2017||>|
|American Folk Dance||square dance||1995||>|
However, my favorite Missouri symbols are the mule and paddlefish. The mule reminds me of the nickname Show Me State, a good nickname for anyone who studies the conspiracies that are swirling all around us these days. The paddlefish reminds me of my native South Dakota, which is divided by the Missouri River. Yes, we have paddlefish, too, but most Americans have probably never even heard of this amazing creature.
The paddlefish is a living fossil, but Missouri’s state fossil is the crinoid, which is even older.
Missouri symbols that some may find a little puzzling include the hellbender, archery, jumping jacks, ice cream cone, and two wonder dogs, one of which is a poster puppy for conspiracy. Do you think we’re being told the truth about Jim the Wonder Dog?
If you think state flags and flowers are nothing more than trivia, guess again. A thorough exploration of the more than 1,500 items adopted as state symbols embraces geography, history, and psychology.
You have found the best state symbols website, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The introduction above is adapted from Geobop’s State Symbols and My State Symbols Book, by far the biggest and most detailed state symbols references ever. You can learn still more about the symbols of the 50 states in the books Flag Quest and Grading the States. (Learn more about them here.)
After you spend some time exploring your favorite state’s symbols, you can come back here and tell us what you think about them.