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Louisiana State Symbols


Welcome to the Pelican State! Quick, what’s your favorite Louisiana symbol? The crawfish (the official crustacean)? Gumbo (the official state cuisine)? How about the diatonic accordion? (Continued below)

Louisiana State Flag
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames The Pelican State, Bayou State, Child of the Mississippi
Symbols of State
Motto Union, Justice and Confidence
Song Song of Lousiana 1932
Song Give Me Lousiana 1970
Flower magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) 1900
Wildflower Louisiana iris (Iris giganticaerulea) 1990
Tree bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) 1963
Fruit Tree Mayhaw fruit tree (Crataegus) 2014
Fruit strawberry (Fragaria) 2011
Vegetable sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) 2003
Vegetable Plant Creole tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) 2003
Bird brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) 1966
Mammal Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus) 1992
Dog Catahoula Leopard Dog (Canis lupus familiaris) 1979
Reptile American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) 1983
Amphibian green tree frog (Hyla cinerea) 1993
Freshwater Fish white perch (crappie) (Pomoxis annularis) 1993
Saltwater Fish spotted weakfish (Cynoscion nebulosus) 2001
Insect honeybee (Apis mellifera) Redundant Symbol 1977
Crustacean crawfish (Cambaridae) 1983
Mineral agate 1976
Cabachon Gemstone Crassostrea virginica 2011
Fossil † petrified palmwood (Arecaceae) 1976
Soil Ruston (unofficial) Unofficial
Cultural Symbols
Symbol fleur-de-lis 2008
Colors blue, white and gold 1972
Tartan 2001
Boat Pirogue 2012
Cuisine gumbo 2004
Jellies Mayhaw Jelly and Louisiana Sugar Cane Jelly 2003
Doughnut beignet (ben yay) 1986
Meat Pie Natchitoches Meat Pie 2003
North Louisiana Meal ** 2015
Drink milk Redundant Symbol 1983
Cocktail of New Orleans Sazerac 2008
Hog Dog Trial Event Uncle Earl’s Hog Dog Trials 2003
State Museum of Natural History Louisiana State University Museum of Natural History 1999
Cajun / Creole Heritage Hoop nets, castnets, and shrimp trawls 1992
Christmas in the Country Elizabeth, Louisiana 1990
Gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin St. Mary Parish 2004
American Folk Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1999
Song You Are My Sunshine 1977
March Song Louisiana My Home Sweet Home 1952
Environmental Song The Gifts of Earth 1990
Hurricane Katrina Song Come Back to Louisiana 2006
Musical Instrument diatonic accordion 1990
Cultural Poem I Am Louisiana 2006
Senate Poem Leadership 1999
Judicial Poem America, We the People 1995
Painting Louisiana 1995
Language English Redundant Symbol 1807
Pledge of Allegiance 1981

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is one of Louisiana’s more distinctive symbols. However, the baldcypress (the state tree)—a truly spectacular marvel of Nature—may be even more distinctive. this ancient species could serve as the state fossil as well, as could Louisiana’s state reptile, the alligator.

However, the star of the show is probably the pelican, source of the nickname Pelican State. The state bird is the brown pelican, though white pelicans are depicted on Louisiana’s state flag.

Louisiana has plenty of other symbols to explore, from the Creole tomato to the white perch, or crappie. I’m particularly enamored of Louisiana’s official symbol, the fleur de lis, or stylized lily. In fact, I incorporated it into my proposal for a new Louisiana state flag.

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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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