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Delaware State Symbols

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Welcome to Delaware! Whether you call it the First State, Diamond State, or Blue Hen State, Delaware’s symbols prove it is indeed a Small Wonder. (Continued below)

Delaware State Flag
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames The First State, Blue Hen State, Diamond State, Small Wonder 2002
Symbols of State
Motto Liberty and Independence
Song Our Delaware 1925
EcoSymbols
Flower peach blossom (Prunus persica) 1895
Herb sweet goldenrod (Solidago odora) 1996
Tree American holly (Ilex opaca) 1939
Fruit strawberry (Fragaria) 2010
Bird Blue Hen Chicken (Gallus gallus) 1939
Wildlife Animal gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) 2010
Dog rescue dog (Canis lupus familiaris) 2023
Dog (former) Golden Retriever (Canis lupus familiaris) 2016
Fish weakfish (Cynoscion) 1981
Bug convergent ladybug (Hippodamia convergens) 1974
Butterfly tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1999
Macroinvertebrate stonefly (Plecoptera) 2005
Marine Animal horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) 2002
Shell channeled whelk (Busycotypus canaliculatus) 2014
Mineral sillimanite 1977
Fossil † American belemnite (Belemnitella americana) 1996
Soil Greenwich 2000
Star Delaware Diamond 2000
Cultural Symbols
Colors Colonial blue and buff 1953
Dessert peach pie 2009
Beverage milk Redundant Symbol 1983
Sport bicycling 2014
Tall Ship Kalmar Nyckel 2016
Dance (former) Maypole dancing 2016

Why does such a tiny state have three state insects, along with a state shell and a squid-like state fossil?

I love the ladybug, stonefly, and horseshoe crab. However, one of Delaware’s most iconic symbols is its state tree, the American holly. For me, it somehow seems linked to the former state dance, Maypole dancing. Why was such a cool symbol dropped from the roster? Is it because Maypole dancing is widely considered a pagan symbol? In fact, holly wreaths have pagan origins, too. That’s what makes them so cool!

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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.

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