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Ohio State Symbols

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Welcome to the Buckeye State! Ohio’s symbols can really make a person think. It is the only state with a flag that isn’t rectangular, for example. And yet it ranks among the nicest state flags. (Continued below)

Ohio state flag Ohio state seal
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames The Buckeye State, Mother of Modern Presidents 1953
Symbols of State
Motto With God, All Things Are Possible 1959
Song Beautiful Ohio 1969
EcoSymbols
Flower scarlet carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) 1904
Wildflower large white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) 1986
Tree Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) 1953
Fruit tomato (Lycopersicon esculentus) 2009
Native Fruit pawpaw (Asimina triloba) 2009
Bird cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 1933
Animal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) 1988
Reptile black racer (Coluber constrictor) 1995
Amphibian spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) 2010
Frog bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) 2010
Fish [none]
Insect ladybug (Coccinellidae) 1975
Gemstone Ohio flint 1965
Invertebrate Fossil † trilobite (Isotelus) 1985
Fossil Fish † Dunkleosteus maximus 2021
Soil Miamian (unofficial) Unofficial
Cultural Symbols
Artifact Adena pipe 2013
Prehistoric Monument Newark earthworks, Licking county 2006
Historical Architecture barn 2019
Bicentennial Bridge The Blaine Hill bridge in Belmont County 2002
Gravity Racing Symbol All-American Soap Box Derby® 2023
Beverage tomato juice 1965
Rock Song Hang on Sloopy 1985
Flag Salute 2002

There are some tragic stories behind the state flower (the scarlet carnation) as well as the nickname Buckeye State. Instead of calling Ohio the Mother of Presidents, maybe we should call it the Mother of Dead Presidents. The color red is repeated on three other symbols—the cardinal, tomato, and tomato juice.

It also has three symbols that have a lot to say about the first Americans—flint, the Adena pipe, and the Newark earthworks. Actually, the nickname Buckeye State has a Native American origin as well.

Ohio’s official fossils take us even farther back in time—much farther, The official fossil fish, Dunkleosteus, was a monstrous creature that only a scientist could love. However, 21st-century Ohio is a pioneer in aviation as well as conspiracy theory.

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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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