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New Hampshire Cultural Symbols

With the exception of the official language and an excess of official songs, New Hampshire’s roster of 13 official cultural symbols is pretty cool. More precisely, it has at least a couple cool symbols, apple cider and skiing.

Cultural Symbols  
Beverage apple cider 2010
Sport skiing 1998
Tartan 1995
Honorary State Song New Hampshire, My New Hampshire 1963
Honorary State Song New Hampshire Hills 1973
Honorary State Song Autumn in New Hampshire, New Hampshire’s Granite State, Oh, New Hampshire (You’re My Home), The Old Man of the Mountain, The New Hampshire State March 1977
Honorary State Song New Hampshire Naturally 1983
Honorary State Song Live Free or Die 2007
Language English Redundant Symbol 1995
New Hampshire Cultural Symbols

The title of New Hampshire’s state song, “Old New Hampshire,” is kind of clever. But why does New Hampshire need all those extra official songs?

It wouldn’t be so bad if they were really exciting songs, like “Oklahoma!” or “Rocky Mountain High.” However, most, if not all, of them sound like ordinary stuffy state songs. They sound like some of the songs people sing in church.

New Hampshire is also among the states with an official tartan. Green represents forests, while black represents New Hampshire’s granite mountains. Purple represents the state bird and flower (purple finch and purple lilac). White represents the snow, and red represents all the state heroes.

Curiously, New Hampshire’s tartan is one of several state tartans that are not in the public domain.

Below is my vision of a New Hampshire tartan.

New Hampshire GeoTartan

Gray and white represent the nicknames Granite State and White Mountain State, respectively. Blue recalls the nickname Mother of Rivers.
White also represents New Hampshire’s state tree, the white birch. Green represents forests, while orange represents their glorious fall foliage.

Purple represents New Hampshire’s state flower and bird, the lilac and purple finch. Pink represents the official state wildflower, the pink lady slipper.

In 2013, there was a failed bid to make orange, red, and yellow New Hampshire’s official state colors. I think gray, white, and blue would be a better choice for state colors, though red, orange, and yellow recall the state’s beautiful fall foliage.

One other interesting symbol is New Hampshire’s official citizenry—New Hampshire Native. Connecticut and Massachusetts need special names for their citizens. However, residents of New Hampshire are commonly called New Hampshirites. So why did legislators need to pass a special law designating them “New Hampshire natives”?

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