Welcome to the Evergreen State! Washington’s state symbols appear to embrace two themes, George Washington and the Pacific Northwest.
The state is named for George Washington, who is depicted on the state flag and seal. Washington also has an official ship and tall ship, named the President Washington and Lady Washington. (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||The Evergreen State, Chinook State|
|Symbols of State|
|Song||Washington, My Home||1959||>|
|Flower||coast rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum)||1959||>|
|(former)||rhododendron (Rhododendron californicum)||1949|
|Tree||western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)||1947||>|
|Grass||bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata)||1989||>|
|Vegetable||Walla Walla sweet onion (Allium cepa)||2007||>|
|Bird||willow goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)||1951||>|
|Endemic Mammal||Olympic marmot (Marmota olympus)||2009||>|
|Marine Mammal||orca (Orcinus orca)||2005||>|
|Amphibian||Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla)||2007||>|
|Fish||steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss)||1969||>|
|Insect||green darner dragonfly (Anax junius)||1997||>|
|Fossil †||Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi)||1998||>|
|Dinosaur †||Suciasaurus rex||2023||>|
|Tall Ship||Lady Washington||2007||>|
|Arboretum||Washington Park Arboretum (University of Washington, Seattle)||1995||>|
|Folk Song||Roll on Columbia, Roll On||1987||>|
The Lady Washington is a sailing ship, but the President Washington was a container ship. How exciting is that? It’s a reminder that the Pacific Northwest is ruled by corporate Seattle.
The nickname Evergreen State was inspired by Washington’s vast forests. But there’s a catch: The nickname was actually coined by a Seattle real estate agent.
Washington’s state motto, Alki, reflects the hope that Seattle might one day be the West Coast’s equivalent of New York City. Sadly, that dream is coming true as the Seattle area’s population explodes.
Reality check: Did you know that George Washington was an aristocratic slave owner who never traveled west of the Appalachians? Doesn’t it seem a little tacky to portray him on a flag while moaning about racist Confederate symbols? Even the WOKE crowd ignores Washington’s flag. Hypocrisy, anyone?
I’m not WOKE, but I am awake, and I’m campaigning for a new Washington state 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.