Welcome to one of the few states that have no really cool nicknames. Mother of pResidents—is that something to be proud of? Fortunately, Virginia has some cool symbols to distract us from the wretched leaders it has spawned . . . (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||Old Dominion, Mother of States, Mother of Presidents, Cavalier State|
|Symbols of State|
|Motto||Sic Semper Tyrannis||>|
|Song Emeritus||Carry Me Back to Old Virginia||1997||>|
|Flower||American dogwood (Cornus florida)||1918||>|
|Tree||dogwood (Cornus florida)||1956||>|
|Bird||cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)||1950||>|
|Bat||Virginia big-eared bat (Plecotus townsendii)||2005||>|
|Pony||Chincoteague ponies (Equus caballus)||2023||>|
|Dog||American Foxhound (Canis lupus familiaris)||1966||>|
|Snake||eastern garter snake (Thamnophis-sirtalis-sirtalis)||2016||>|
|Amphibian||red salamander (Pseudotriton ruber)||2018||>|
|Fish||brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)||1993||>|
|Saltwater Fish||striped bass (Morone saxatilis)||2011||>|
|Insect||tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)||1991||>|
|Shell||oyster shell (Crassostrea virginica)||1974||>|
|Fossil †||Chesapecten jeffersonius (Chesapecten jeffersonius)||1993||>|
|Boat||Chesapeake Bay Deadrise||1988||>|
|Fleet||Replicas of the three ships that sailed from England to Jamestown in 1607: Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery||2001||>|
|Spirit||George Washington rye whiskey||2017||>|
|Sports Hall of Fame||Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, Portsmouth||1996||>|
|Motor Sports Museum||Wood Brothers Racing Museum and Virginia Motor Sports Hall of Fame, Patrick County||1995||>|
|Gold Mining Interpretive Center||Monroe Park, Goldvein, Virginia||2001||>|
|Coal Miners’ Memorial||The Richland Coal Miners’ Memorial, Richlands||2009||>|
|Folklore Center||The Blue Ridge Institute, Ferrum||1986||>|
|Folk Dance||square dance||1991||>|
|Emergency Medical Services Museum||To the Rescue, Roanoke||1994||>|
|Song (Popular)||“Sweet Virginia Breeze,” by Robbin Thompson and Steve Bassett||2015||>|
|Song (Traditional)||“Our Great Virginia,” lyrics by Mike Greenly and arranged by Jim Papoulis with music from the original American folksong “Oh Shenandoah”||2015||>|
|Outdoor Drama||The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama||1994||>|
|Historical Outdoor Drama||The Long Way Home||1994||>|
|Television Series||Song of the Mountains||2017||>|
|Shakespeare Festival||Virginia Shakespeare Festival||2013||>|
|Artisans Center||Virginia Artisans Center, Waynesboro||1999||>|
|War Memorial Museum||Virginia War Museum, Newport News||1997||>|
The popular American dogwood serves as Virginia’s state flower and tree both. The state bird is the cardinal, the most popular of state birds. Virginia’s state fishes are the super popular brook trout and striped bass, while the state insect is the tiger swallowtail. Does Virginia have any unique symbols?
Virginia is one of just a handful of states with an official bat, the Virginia big-eared bat. Its official amphibian is the red salamander, while Nelsonite is the state rock. Another personal favorite is Virginia’s state boat, the Chesapeake Bay deadrise.
On a more serious note, Virginia has two symbols that commemorate slave owners. One is the state fossil, a scallop named Chesapecten jeffersonius for pResident Thomas Jefferson. The other is George Washington rye whiskey, which was named the official spirit. Do you suppose Washington made his own whiskey, or did his slaves make it for him?
Virginia is one of many states that need a new flag. On the positive side, it isn’t racist, unlike Washington’s state flag, which depicts you know who.
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.