Welcome to Alaska, America’s Last Frontier! Or do you prefer the nickname Land of the Midnight Sun? If any state merits exciting state symbols this is it. (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||The Last Frontier, Land of the Midnight Sun, The Great Land|
|Symbols of State|
|Motto||North to the Future||1967||>|
|Flower||forget-me-not (Myosotis alpestris)||1955||>|
|Tree||Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis)||1962||>|
|Bird||willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus)||1955||>|
|Land Mammal||moose (Alces alces)||1998||>|
|Marine Mammal||bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus)||1983||>|
|Dog||Alaskan Malamute (Canis lupus familiaris)||2010||>|
|Fish||king salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)||1962||>|
|Insect||four spot skimmer dragonfly (Libellula quadrimaculata)||1995||>|
|Fossil †||woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius)||1986||>|
|Language||English + 20||2014||>|
|Bolt-Action Rifle||Pre-1964 Winchester Model 70 bolt-action rifle (multiple caliber)||2014||>|
That last nickname recalls the fact that, in summer, the sun sometimes never sets north of the Arctic Circle. It’s daylight at midnight! In winter, on the other hand, things get very dark (and cold). Some people then jokingly call Alaska Land of the Noon Moon.
Alaska’s winter skies are sometimes lit up by the aurora borealis, better known as the northern lights. The northern lights shimmer like a heavenly curtain. They can be yellow, green, red, blue, violet, orange or white. This famous light show is depicted on Alaska’s state seal.
Alaska’s symbols are among my favorites, possibly ranking in the top three. However, I wish Alaskans had chosen the caribou, rather than the moose, as their state mammal. But should the raven replace the ptarmigan as the state bird? Some Alaskans think so. What do you think?
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.