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Wisconsin State Symbols


Welcome to the Badger State! Can you guess what Wisconsin’s state animal is? The official domestic animal is the dairy cow, a reminder of another popular nickname, America’s Dairyland. (Continued below)

Wisconsin State Flag
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames The Badger State, America’s Dairyland  
Symbols of State
Motto Forward 1851
Song On, Wisconsin 1959
Flower wood violet (Viola sororia) 1949
Tree sugar maple (Acer saccharum) 1949
Grain corn (Zea mays) 1989
Fruit cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) 2004
Herb ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) 2017
Bird robin (Turdus migratorius) 1949
Symbol of Peace mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) 1971
Animal badger (Taxidea taxus) 1957
Wildlife Animal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) 1957
Dog American Water Spaniel (Canis lupus familiaris) 1985
Domestic Animal dairy cow (Bos taurus) 1971
Fish muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) 1955
Insect honeybee (Apis mellifera) Redundant Symbol 1977
Mineral galena (lead) 1971
Rock red granite 1971
Fossil † trilobite (Calymene celebra) 1985
Soil Antigo Silt Loam 1983
Cultural Symbols
Pastry kringle 2013
Dairy Food cheese 2017
Beverage milk Redundant Symbol 1987
Tartan 2008
Ballad Oh Wisconsin, Land of My Dreams 2001
Waltz The Wisconsin Waltz 2001
Dance polka 1993

Wisconsin is one of far too many states with a crappy flag. A far better design might be based on the colors red, white, and blue. Red could represent the origin of the state’s name, along with the state rock, red granite. Blue and white are peaceful colors, recalling the mourning dove, which was adopted as Wisconsin’s official symbol of peace. How cool is that? White also represents Wisconsin’s fabled dairy industry.

Wisconsin’s motto, “Forward,” could be represented by an arrow, triangle, or chevron. We could also add a white star representing the North Star, which in turn represents a northern state.

Unfortunately, it’s hard figuring out exactly what the final design should look like; there are simply too many options. Should we add the color yellow to appease the many Wisconsinites who reportedly want a flag that commemorates cheese? (Cheese was named the official dairy food in 2017.) Yellow could also represent Wisconsin’s official state grain, corn.

Some Wisconsinites have reportedly even asked for a flag that includes ginseng, the official state herb, in its symbolism.

Are Wisconsinites ready to move forward and replace their flag with something more respectable? With new flag campaigns gathering steam in neighboring Michigan and Minnesota, it’s a good bet Wisconsinites will jump on the bandwagon. It will be interesting to see what kind of flag they eventually adopt.

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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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