Welcome to the Wolverine State! Michigan’s most exciting symbol may be its most familiar nickname, which is odd because there are probably no wolverines there today. Symbols like the robin, white-tailed deer, and brook trout, are wholesome but are shared with too many other states to really spell “Michigan.” (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||The Wolverine State, Lake State, Great Lakes State, Lady of the Lake, Water Wonderland, Auto State|
|Symbols of State|
|Motto||Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice||>|
|Flower||sweet crabapple blossom (Malus coronaria)||1897||>|
|Wildflower||dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris)||1998||>|
|Tree||eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)||1955||>|
|Bird||robin (Turdus migratorius)||1931||>|
|Bicentennial Bird||Kirtland’s warbler (Dendroica palmarum)||1976||>|
|Game Mammal||white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)||1997||>|
|Reptile||painted turtle (Chrysemys picta)||1995||>|
|Fish||brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)||1988||>|
|Stone||Petoskey stone (Hexagonaria percarinata)||1965||>|
|Fossil †||mastodon (Mammut americanum)||2002||>|
|Soil||Kalkaska Soil Series||1990||>|
|Historical Society||Historical Society of Michigan||2002||>|
|Children’s Book||The Legend of Sleeping Bear||1998||>|
More unique are Michigan’s official stone and fossil, the Petoskey stone and mastodon. In fact, the Petoskey stone is a fossil itself. It is the fossilized remains of coral that lived long before mastodons roamed the land.
On a sadder note, Michigan is cursed with one of the ugliest state flags. However, there is growing interest in adopting a new flag.
A truly nice flag could inject a lot of energy into Michigan’s roster of symbols. Both of my proposals were inspired by Michigan’s coat of arms. One depicts the sun rising over the two peninsulas that make up Michigan. The other features a pair of majestic elk antlers.
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.