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Iowa State Symbols

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Welcome to the Hawkeye State! Iowa has fewer official state symbols than any other state. Unlike most states, it has no state mammal, fish, insect, or fossil. Is this a good thing? (Continued below)

Iowa State Flag
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames The Hawkeye State 1938
Symbols of State
Motto Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain 1847
Song The Song of Iowa 1911
EcoSymbols
Flower wild prairie rose (Rosa arkansana) 1897
Tree oak (Quercus) 1961
Bird eastern goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) 1933
Mammal [none]
Fish [none]
Insect [none]
Soil Tama (unofficial) Unofficial
Rock geode 1967
Fossil [none]
Cultural Symbols
Tartan 2004
Language English Redundant Symbol 2002

Although Iowa’s lack of symbols might seem a little boring, it is somewhat refreshing. Many states have adopted so many symbols, they have become almost meaningless. However, there’s nothing meaningless about Iowa’s state flower, the prairie rose. As a son of the prairie, it’s one of my favorite state flowers.

As if trying to make up for its spartan roster of symbols, Iowa boasts the longest state motto. Why in the world did legislators put all that hot air on their flag?

In the meantime, it’s interesting to speculate about future Iowa symbols. Will Iowans one day adopt a state fossil, and what fossil do you think they would choose?

* * * * *

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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