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California Cultural Symbols

California has nearly 20 official cultural symbols.

Cultural Symbols  
Colors blue and gold 1951
Prehistoric Artifact chipped stone bear 1991
Tartan California Tartan 2001
Fabric denim 2016
Tall Ship Californian 2003
Gold Rush Ghost Town Bodie 2002
Silver Rush Ghost Town Calico 2005
Historical Society California Historical Society 1979
Sport surfing 2018
Pet shelter pet 2015
Dance West Coast swing dance 1988
Folk Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1988
Fife and Drum Band California Consolidated Drum Band 1997
Theater Pasadena Playhouse 1937
Outdoor Play Ramona Pageant 1993
Language English Redundant Symbol 1986
Vietnam Veterans War Memorial California Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Capitol Park, Sacramento 2013
Military Museum California State Military Museum and Resource Center 2004
Surfing and Tall Ship

What could California’s official sport be but surfing?

California’s official tall ship is the Californian. It is a replica of a revenue cutter that patrolled California’s coast during the Gold Rush period.

California is the only state with an official gold rush ghost town (Bodie) and silver rush ghost town (Calico). It is also the only state with an official fabric, denim. The stuff of which blue jeans are made, it was actually invented in neighboring Nevada in the years following the Gold Rush.

Gold Rush SymbolsLeft to right: Bodie ghost town, California red-legged frog, and denim.

Taking us back in time as much as 8,000 years is California’s official prehistoric artifact, the chipped stone bear. Carved out of volcanic rock, it will probably still be around long after California’s flag has followed the California grizzly into history.

California produces more dairy products than any other state, including Wisconsin. Fortunately, Californians haven’t imitated all the other states that call milk their official beverage. But if Californians were to adopt an official drink, what would be the best choice?

Grapes are depicted on California’s state seal, complemented by the nickname Grape State. In addition, wine is mentioned in California’s state song.

California’s symbols of the arts and political symbols are explored on other pages.

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