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Illinois State Symbols

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Welcome to the Prairie State!

Born and raised in West Dakota, I love the prairie. I’ll pass on Illinois’ slogan, “Land of Lincoln.” Did you know Abraham Lincoln was a racist lawyer who presided over the biggest mass execution in American history? (Continued below)

Illinois State Flag
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames The Prairie State, Corn State  
Slogan The Land of Lincoln 1955
Symbols of State
Motto State Sovereignty, National Union
Song Illinois 1925
EcoSymbols
Flower violet (Violaceae) 1907
Wildflower milkweed (Asclepias) 2017
Tree white oak (Quercus alba) 1973
(former) oak (Quercus) 1908
Prairie Grass big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) 1989
Grain corn (Zea mays) 2017
Vegetable sweet corn 2015
Fruit Gold Rush Apple (Malus domestica) 2007
Bird cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 1929
Animal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) 1982
Reptile painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) 2005
Snake Eastern milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum) 2023
Amphibian eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) 2005
Fish bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) 1986
Insect monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) 1975
Microbe Penicillium rubens 2021
Mineral fluorite 1965
Rock dolostone 2023
Fossil † Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium) 1989
Soil Drummer 2001
Cultural Symbols
Artifact pirogue 2016
Snack Food popcorn 2004
Pie pumpkin pie 2015
Exercise cycling 2017
Pet shelter dogs and cats 2017
Tartan Illinois Saint Andrew Society tartan 2012
Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1990
Theater The Great American People Show 1995
Language English Redundant Symbol 1969
(former) American 1923

On a brighter note, Illinois probably has more grass symbols than any other state.

Illinois’ state wildflower, milkweed, complements its state insect, the beautiful monarch butterfly. However, Illinois’ most intriguing symbol is its state fossil, the Tully monster. Scientists still don’t even know exactly what it was.

Illinois is one of the few states with an official—wait for it—microbe. However, there are probably more conspiracy theories swirling around its state mineral than all of Illinois’ other symbols combined.

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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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