Monthly Archives: May, 2012

Symbolizing Wisconsin

As most of you probably know, Wisconsin officially became a state in 1848.  Thirty-three years later, in 1881, Wisconsin finalized the State Coat of Arms, a special emblem containing symbols that represent the diversity, wealth and abundance of resources in Wisconsin.

Topping the State Coat of Arms is Wisconsin’s state motto, Forward, and state animal, the badger.  In the center is a shield comprising of a plow, representing agriculture; a pick and shovel, representing mining; an arm and hammer, representing manufacturing; an anchor, representing navigation; and the U.S. Coat of Arms, including the motto E Pluribus Unum.  The shield is supported by a sailor and miner, representing labor on water and land.  At the bottom of the State Coat of Arms is a cornucopia, representing prosperity and abundance, and 13 lead ingots, representing mineral wealth and the 13 original colonies.

Wisconsin is represented by a variety of other special symbols.  Below is a list of these current well-known symbols.

State Song: “On Wisconsin!”  became the official state song in 1959.

State Bird: Robin was voted by school children as the state bird in 1926-27.

State Flower: Wood Violet was adopted as Wisconsin’s official state flower on Arbor Day 1909.

State Tree: Sugar Maple became the state’s official tree in 1949.

State Fish: Muskellunge or “muskie” leapt into the state books in 1955.

State Wildlife Animal: White-tailed Deer was appointed the state wildlife animal in 1957.

State Domesticated Animal: Dairy Cow was added to the state symbol list in 1971.

State Mineral: Galena was selected as the state mineral in 1971.

State Rock: Red Granite was chosen for its economic importance in the state in 1971.

State Symbol of Peace: Mourning Dove flew over WI as the official symbol of peace in 1971.

State Insect: Honeybee was recognized for its sweet contributions in 1977 as state insect.

State Soil: Antigo Silt Loam was chosen to represent the more than 500 major soil types in WI.

State Fossil: Trilobite, the extinct marine arthropod, crawled into state record books in 1985.

State Dog: American Water Spaniel was selected as the state dog in 1985.

State Beverage: Milk representing our dairy heritage became the state beverage in 1987.

State Grain: Corn was made the official state grain in 1989 to bring attention to its many uses.

State Dance: Polka was adopted as the state dance in 1993.

State Fruit:  Cranberry was selected as the newest state symbol in 2004.

The Badger State is made up of 72 counties and is full of approximately 5,711,767 proud Wisconsinites.  Eat some cheese and on Wisconsin!

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