State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide

By Benjamin F. Shearer; Jerrie Yehling Smith et al. | Go to book overview

8
State and Territory Birds

Beginning in 1926, when Kentucky officially named the handsome red bird or cardinal as its state bird, campaigns were launched nationwide until each state had selected at least one favorite bird as its avian symbol. Audubon societies and women's clubs from 1926 through the early 1930s were largely responsible for fueling public interest and holding popular votes, many of them among school children. Since then, of course, several states have established or changed state birds.

The cardinal is not only the first to have been proclaimed a state bird, but it also holds the distinction of having been designated by seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. The western meadow lark holds second place, having been honored by Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming. The mockingbird, another favorite, has been named the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

Though the robin is probably the most remembered in idiom and fable, it has surprisingly been selected by only three states: Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Maine and Massachusetts concurred that the chickadee was a fine emblem for their states, while Iowa and New Jersey agreed on the Eastern goldfinch.

Both Missouri and New York selected the bluebird in 1927, but New York waited for more than forty years to make it official. Again, over thirty years elapsed between the decisions of Idaho and Nevada to designate the

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State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 - State and Territory Names and Nicknames 1
  • Notes 19
  • 2 - State and Territory Mottoes 23
  • Notes 35
  • 3 - State and Territory Seals 39
  • Notes 71
  • 4 - State and Territory Flags 73
  • 5 - State and Territory Capitols 103
  • Notes 125
  • 6 - State and Territory Flowers 129
  • Notes 141
  • 7 - State and Territory Trees 145
  • Notes 164
  • 8 - State and Territory Birds 167
  • Notes 194
  • 9 - State and Territory Songs 197
  • Notes 207
  • 10 - State and Territory Legal Holidays and Observances 209
  • Notes 264
  • 11 - State and Territory License Plates 269
  • Notes 290
  • 12 - State and Territory Postage Stamps 295
  • 13 - Miscellaneous Official State and Territory Designations 309
  • Notes 327
  • 14 - State and Territory Fairs and Festivals 331
  • Notes 385
  • Selected Bibliography of State and Territory Histories 389
  • Index 413
  • About the Authors 438
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