This is not your usual state symbols site. For starters, it also embraces national symbols, along with symbols of Canada’s provinces, Japan’s prefectures, etc.
That’s a lot of information to organize, and organization is one of the things that makes this site special. You see, I was the first to develop an intelligent classification scheme for state symbols. I started out by dividing them into four broad categories—names and nicknames, symbols of state (flags, mottoes, etc.), ecosymbols (or Nature symbols), and cultural symbols. You can learn the details below.
Names & Nicknames ˆ
Names are symbols themselves. The stories behind the origins of place names can be intriguing. In addition, many countries and administrative subdivisions have nicknames, some of which may even be official designations.
One could write an encyclopedia about this category of symbols alone.
Symbols of State ˆ
I coined the term symbols of state to describe what most people would consider the most essential symbols of statehood. Of course, we would have to include vexillological symbols, including flags, coats of arms, and seals. I’ve also included mottoes, national anthems, and state songs in this category. (However, some U.S. states have additional official songs that are more properly classified as cultural symbols.)
EcoSymbols (Symbols of Nature) ˆ
I coined the term ecosymbols to describe plants, animals, minerals, fossils, soils, and other facets of Nature adopted as symbols. If you prefer to call them Nature symbols, that’s fine.
Cultural Symbols ˆ
Just about any state symbol that isn’t a symbol of state or ecosymbol can be placed in this category.
Think about the foods, clothing, sports, and customs associated with various countries. Thai food is symbolic of Thailand, for example, while fútbol (soccer) is widely associated with Brazil.
Many cultural symbols have been officially designated, particularly among the 50 U.S. states.