Welcome to Nebraska, a state with some strange symbols. Why is Nebraska nicknamed the Cornhusker State when it just stretches into the western edge of the Corn Belt? I prefer the nickname Antelope State, even if the graceful pronghorn isn’t a true antelope. (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||Cornhusker State, Antelope State, Bug-Eating State||1945|
|(former)||Tree Planters’ State||1895|
|Slogan||Welcome to Nebraskaland, where the West begins.||1963|
|Symbols of State|
|Motto||Equality Before the Law||1867||>|
|Flower||giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)||1895||>|
|Tree||cottonwood (Populus deltoides)||1972||>|
|(former)||American elm (Ulmus americana)||1937|
|Grass||little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)||1969||>|
|Bird||western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)||1927||>|
|Migratory Bird||sandhill crane (Grus canadensis)||2022||>|
|Mammal||white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)||1981||>|
|Reptile||ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata)||2017||>|
|Fish||channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)||1997||>|
|Insect||honeybee (Apis mellifera)||1975||>|
|Gemstone||blue chalcedony (agate)||1967||>|
|Fossil †||mammoth (Mammuthus)||1967||>|
|Historic Baseball Capital||St. Paul||1997||>|
|Village of Lights||Cody||1997||>|
|American Folk Dance||square dance||1997||>|
|Ballad||A Place Like Nebraska||1997||>|
One of my favorite Nebraska symbols is the majestic sandhill crane, which was designated the official migratory bird. For good measure, the Platte River was named the state’s official river.
Nebraska shares its state fossil, the mammoth, with Alaska. However, Alaska recognizes the woolly mammoth, while Nebraskans embrace all mammoths.
Nebraska officially boasts the ugliest U.S. state flag. Indeed, it would be hard to find a flag as atrocious as Nebraska’s anywhere in the world. Yet most Nebraskans have learned to accept their flag; “Try and change it over my dead body,” they might say. In fact, the flag representing neighboring South Dakota is just as bad, and few Dakotans complain about it, either.
But who cares about flags when few people fly’em, anyway? A prairie landscape carpeted with Nebraska’s state grass, little bluestem, is far more beautiful than any flag.
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.