Eureka! We’ve arrived at California, the third biggest state.
More people live in California than any other state. California is the home of Disneyland and Hollywood. What stories do its more than 40 state symbols have to tell? (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||The Golden State||1968|
|Symbols of State|
|Song||I Love You, California||1951||>|
|Flower||California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)||1903||>|
|Tree||coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)||1937||>|
|Tree||giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)||1937||>|
|Grass||purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra)||2004||>|
|Nuts||almond (Prunus dulcis), pecan (Carya illinoinensis), pistachio (Pistacia vera) & walnut (Juglans)||2017||>|
|Lichen||lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii)||2015||>|
|Bird||California quail (Callipepla californica)||1931||>|
|Animal||California grizzly bear (Ursus arctos)||1953||>|
|Marine Mammal||gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus)||1975||>|
|Reptile||California desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)||1972||>|
|Marine Reptile||Pacific leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)||2012||>|
|Amphibian||California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii)||2014||>|
|Fish||golden trout (Oncorhynchus aguabonita)||1947||>|
|Marine Fish||garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus)||1995||>|
|Insect||California dogface butterfly (Zerene eurydice)||1972||>|
|Mineral & Mineralogic Emblem||gold||1965||>|
|Rock & Lithologic Emblem||serpentine||1965||>|
|Fossil †||saber-toothed cat (Smilodon californicus)||1973||>|
|Dinosaur †||Augustynolophus morrisi||2017||>|
|Soil||San Joaquin Soil||1997||>|
|Colors||blue and gold||1951||>|
|Prehistoric Artifact||chipped stone bear||1991||>|
|Gold Rush Ghost Town||Bodie||2002||>|
|Silver Rush Ghost Town||Calico||2005||>|
|Historical Society||California Historical Society||1979||>|
|Dance||West Coast swing dance||1988||>|
|Folk Dance||square dance||1988||>|
|Fife and Drum Band||California Consolidated Drum Band||1997||>|
|Outdoor Play||Ramona Pageant||1993||>|
|Vietnam Veterans War Memorial||California Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Capitol Park, Sacramento||2013||>|
|Military Museum||California State Military Museum and Resource Center||2004||>|
The overall theme is gold.
California is nicknamed The Golden State. It’s an official nickname, adopted in 1968. The state motto, Eureka (“I have found it”), is thought to recall the discovery of gold in 1848.
Shortly after gold was discovered, it was decided to steal what is now California from Mexico.
The rebels adopted a flag featuring a grizzly bear. The bear can still be seen on California’s flag, even though the last California grizzly was killed in 1922.
Today, the California grizzly is California’s official state animal.
Can you guess what the official state mineral is? Gold!
California’s state flower is the California poppy. Early Spanish explorers called the beautiful flower copa de oro (“cup of gold”). As they sailed along the coast, they were stunned by hillsides covered with golden blossoms. They reportedly called it “The land of fire.”
Still more California symbols embrace this golden theme. However, California’s remaining symbols are a reminder that all that glitters is not gold. But is there any truth to the rumor that California has four official nuts?
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.