Welcome to the Sunshine State! Florida has around 50 state symbols. Even if we ignore some of the more boring symbols (like the state motto and language), that’s still a lot of symbols to learn about.
If Florida’s symbols have a central theme, it’s sunshine spiced with flowers, citrus fruit, and the sea. (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||Sunshine State, Orange State, Everglade State, Alligator State||1970|
|Symbols of State|
|Motto||In God We Trust||2006||>|
|Song||Old Folks at Home||2008||>|
|(former)||The Swanee River||1935|
|(former)||Florida, My Florida||1913|
|Flower||orange blossom (Citrus sinensis)||1909||>|
|Tree||sabal palmetto (Sabal palmetto)||1953||>|
|Fruit||orange (Citrus sinensis)||2005||>|
|Bird||mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)||1927||>|
|Animal||Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi)||1982||>|
|Marine Mammal||manatee (Trichechus manatus)||1975||>|
|Saltwater Mammal||porpoise (bottle-nosed dolphin) (Tursiops truncatus)||1975||>|
|Heritage Horse||cracker horse (Equus caballus)||2008||>|
|Heritage Cattle Breed||cracker cattle (Bos taurus)||2018||>|
|Reptile||American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)||1987||>|
|Saltwater Reptile||loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)||2008||>|
|Tortoise||gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)||2008||>|
|Freshwater Fish||largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)||1975||>|
|Saltwater Fish||sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus)||1975||>|
|Butterfly||zebra longwing (Heliconius charithonia)||1996||>|
|Shell||horse conch (Pleuroploca gigantea)||1969||>|
|Stone||agatized coral (Anthozoa)||1979||>|
|Soil||Myakka Fine Sand||1989||>|
|Food||Key Lime Pie||2006||>|
|Rodeo||Silver Spurs Rodeo (Osceola County)||1994||>|
|Hall of Fame||The Florida Sports Hall of Fame, Lake City, Columbia County||1999||>|
|Maritime Museum||Admiral John H. Fetterman State of Florida Maritime Museum and Research Center||2006||>|
|Railroad Museum||The Orange Blossom Special Railroad Museum||1984||>|
|Air Fair||Central Florida Air Fair||1976||>|
|Transportation Museum||The Florida Museum of Transportation and History, Fernandina Beach||1985||>|
|Festival||Calle Ocho Open House||1980||>|
|Renaissance Festival||Italian Renaissance Festival||1994||>|
|Citrus Archive||The Florida Citrus Archives||2001||>|
|Moving Image Center and Archive||The Louis Wolfson II Media History Center, Inc, Miami||1989||>|
|Litter Control Symbol||Keep Florida Beautiful, Incorporated, service mark||1978||>|
|Anthem||Florida, Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky||2008||>|
|Song||I Am Florida||2013||>|
|Poem||I Am Florida||2013||>|
|Opera Program||The Greater Miami Opera Association; the Orlando Opera Company, Incorporated; and the Florida State University School of Music||1983||>|
|Fiddle Contest||Florida State Fiddlers’ Association||1989||>|
|Band||The St. Johns River City Band||1990||>|
|Pageant||Indian River, Brevard County||1979||>|
|Play||Cross and Sword||1973||>|
Florida has more popular nicknames than almost any other state. They include Orange State, Alligator State, and Everglade State. However, Florida’s official nickname is Sunshine State.
Florida’s official nickname reminds me of its official wildflower, the sunny Coreopsis.
In fact, the name Florida comes from La Florida. Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon named it in honor of Pascua Florida, the Spanish Feast of the Flowers (Easter). Some say Florida means “Land of Flowers.” The Spanish also introduced citrus fruits, including oranges and limes.
Today, Orange State is a popular Florida nickname. The orange blossom is Florida’s state flower, and the orange is the state fruit. Can you guess what Florida’s official state beverage is? Orange juice!
Not all of Florida’s symbols are sunny, however. Do you know which Florida symbol isn’t even found in Florida, or which symbols are widely considered racist?
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.