Welcome to New York! Some of New York’s symbols are too closely associated with New York City, which is one of the creepiest cities on the planet. Take the nickname Empire State—please. And what do you think about New York’s official hymn, “Ode to Israel”? Doesn’t that seem a little weird, if not racist? (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||The Empire State, Excelsior State, Knickerbocker State|
|Slogan||I Love New York||2009|
|Symbols of State|
|Song||I Love New York||2009||>|
|Tree||sugar maple (Acer saccharum)||1956||>|
|Bush||lilac (Syringa vulgaris)||2006||>|
|Bird||eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis)||1970||>|
|Animal||beaver (Castor canadensis)||1975||>|
|Reptile||common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)||2006||>|
|Freshwater Fish||brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)||1975||>|
|Marine or Saltwater Fish||striped bass (Morone saxatilis)||2006||>|
|Insect||nine-spotted ladybug (Coccinella novemnotata)||1989||>|
|Butterfly||red-spotted purple or white admiral (Limenitis arthemis)||2008||>|
|Shell||bay scallop (Argopecten irradians)||1988||>|
|Fossil †||sea scorpion (Eurypterus remipes)||1984||>|
|Hymn||Here Rests in Honored Glory (aka Ode to Israel)||2018||>|
However, if we get away from the Big Apple, we can find some more wholesome symbols, including the rose, sugar maple, and beaver. Like neighboring New Jersey, New York is represented by both the brook trout and striped bass, two of the most popular state fishes. Come to think of it, the sugar maple is the most popular state tree, while the beaver also represents distant Oregon (The Beaver State) as well as Canada.
More unique is New York’s state fossil, the sea scorpion. Only New York is represented by the common snapping turtle and bay scallop, though I’m not sure why snapping turtles are particularly associated with a state on the East Coast. Snapping turtles are a familiar sight in my native South Dakota.
New York shares its official butterfly, the beautiful red-spotted purple or white admiral, with Quebec. I don’t find New York’s state sport nearly as exciting, even if it is shrouded in conspiracy. Can you guess what it is?
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.