Kudos to Nevada. Its lean roster of half a dozen official cultural symbols is far better than the competition.
|silver and blue
|Tule duck decoy
|Silver State Fanfare
Note: I modified this image.)
Nevada has half a dozen official “cultural symbols.” The most intriguing is probably its state artifact, the Tule duck decoy.
The decoy was created almost 2,000 years ago. It s formed of bundles of bulrush (tule) stems, bound together and shaped to resemble a canvasback duck.
The decoy was discovered in Lovelock Cave, which is a fascinating symbol in its own right.
Local Paiutes believed that their ancestors were terrorized by a race of red-haired giants. When the Paiutes banded together to fight back, the giants sought refuge in a cave. However, they were destroyed once and forever by the Paiutes.
Today, that cave is known as Lovelock Cave. A pair of miners began harvesting bat guano there in 1911. As rumors of artifacts spread, archaeologists arrived on the scene.
Scientists have removed approximately 10,000 artifacts from Lovelock Cave. They believe the cave was occupied by humans as long ago as 1500 B.C.
Can you imagine a cave occupied by people for 3,000 years? Many people wonder if the United States will last 300 years, one tenth the age of the Lovelock Culture.
Denim is Nevada’s official fabric. Denim was invented by Nevada tailor Jacob Davis. Like sagebrush and ancient bristlecone pines, it is a symbol of toughness.
Nevada is the westernmost state with an official locomotive, Engine No. 40. Built in 1910, it operated daily between Ely and Cobre until 1941. It has been referred to as “The Ghost Train of Old Ely.”
Nevada is also among the states with an official tartan. It is very well designed, with great attention to symbolism. The symbols represented by the colors red, white, blue, silver and yellow are listed in the legal code.
TITLE 19–MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS RELATED TO GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
CHAPTER 235 – STATE EMBLEMS; GIFTS AND ENDOWMENTS
MISCELLANEOUS STATE EMBLEMS
NRS 235.130 State tartan
1. The tartan designed by Richard Zygmunt Pawlowski and further described in this section is hereby designated as the official state tartan of the State of Nevada. The colors and design of the tartan represent the following features that make Nevada a unique and bountiful state:
(a) Blue represents one of the state colors of Nevada, the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe and the Mountain Bluebird, the official state bird;
(b) Silver represents the other state color, the official state mineral, the granite composition of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and the silver country of northern Nevada;
(c) Red represents the Virgin Valley black fire opal, the official state precious gemstone, and the red rock formations of southern Nevada;
(d) Yellow represents Sagebrush, the official state flower, and symbolizes the Great Basin Region of central Nevada;
(e) White represents the name of this state meaning snow-covered, which is the translation of the Spanish word “nevada”;
(f) The crossing of the yellow and red stripes represents the different colors of Nevada sandstone, the official state rock;
(g) The white intersection on the silver field stands for the snow-capped peaks of granite mountains, which make up the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range;
(h) The four blue lines represent the four main rivers of Nevada which are the Colorado River, Truckee River, Humboldt River and Walker River;
(i) The intersecting blue lines in the silver field represent the Colorado River as it meets Hoover Dam and creates Lake Mead;
(j) The small solid “boxes” of silver and blue number 8 by 8, or 64, to signify the year (1864) that Nevada was admitted into statehood;
(k) The 13 solid-colored intersections of the small stripes represent Boundary Peak, the highest point in Nevada, which stands at an elevation of 13,143 feet; and
(l) The 16 solid silver intersections and the solid white intersection in the center of the tartan represent the 16 counties and the one consolidated city-county government of Nevada.
2. The official state tartan must be reproduced in the following colors, pattern and dimension of pattern:
(Added to NRS by 2001, 403)
Curiously, Nevada’s official tartan is copyrighted.