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Michigan State Symbols


Welcome to the Wolverine State! Michigan’s most exciting symbol may be its most familiar nickname, which is odd because there are probably no wolverines there today. Symbols like the robin, white-tailed deer, and brook trout, are wholesome but are shared with too many other states to really spell “Michigan.” (Continued below)

Michigan State Flag
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames The Wolverine State, Lake State, Great Lakes State, Lady of the Lake, Water Wonderland, Auto State  
Symbols of State
Motto Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice
Song My Michigan 1937
Flower sweet crabapple blossom (Malus coronaria) 1897
Wildflower dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris) 1998
Tree eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) 1955
Bird robin (Turdus migratorius) 1931
Bicentennial Bird Kirtland’s warbler (Dendroica palmarum) 1976
Game Mammal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) 1997
Reptile painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) 1995
Fish brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) 1988
Insect [none]
Gem chlorastrolite 1973
Stone Petoskey stone (Hexagonaria percarinata) 1965
Fossil † mastodon (Mammut americanum) 2002
Soil Kalkaska Soil Series 1990
Cultural Symbols
Historical Society Historical Society of Michigan 2002
Children’s Book The Legend of Sleeping Bear 1998
Flag Pledge 1972

More unique are Michigan’s official stone and fossil, the Petoskey stone and mastodon. In fact, the Petoskey stone is a fossil itself. It is the fossilized remains of coral that lived long before mastodons roamed the land.

On a sadder note, Michigan is cursed with one of the ugliest state flags. However, there is growing interest in adopting a new flag.

A truly nice flag could inject a lot of energy into Michigan’s roster of symbols. Both of my proposals were inspired by Michigan’s coat of arms. One depicts the sun rising over the two peninsulas that make up Michigan. The other features a pair of majestic elk antlers.

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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.

Michigan Symbols Store
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