Symbols are oft adopted after a concerted endeavor by citizens to have a significant item recognized for its importance to the state. To that end, citizens, organizations or school children often research a particular symbol and make a request for a bill. They runway the bill through the Legislative process (meet “How a Beak Becomes a Law”), often providing further information virtually their request to the Legislature.
If approved by the Legislature, the bill is enacted and there is a new state symbol. Data about the state symbols can be found in Chapter ane.20 RCW, Full general Provisions. The symbols are listed beneath in the club they were adopted by the Legislature.
(Click here to admission a
| Flower| Flag
| Bird| Song
| Dance| Folk Song | Fruit | Grass
| Tartan| Insect | Fossil | Marine Mammal | Vegetable | Amphibian | Ship | Endemic Mammal
Oyster | Waterfall
In 1889, jeweler Charles Talcott designed our first state seal using an ink canteen, silver dollar and a stamp. Talcott’s blood brother, L. Grant Talcott, lettered the words, “The Seal of the State of Washington, 1889,” and some other brother, G.N. Talcott, cut the printing die. More information tin can exist institute at the Secretarial assistant of State site on the
In 1892, earlier they had the right to vote, Washington women selected the declension rhododendron every bit the state blossom. They wanted an official flower to enter in a floral exhibit at the 1893 Globe’southward Fair in Chicago. Six flowers were considered, but the final decision was narrowed to clover and the “rhodie,” and voting booths were ready for ladies throughout the land. When the ballots were counted, the rhododendron had been chosen as the Washington state bloom. In 1959, the Legislature designated the native species, Rhododendron macrophyllum, as the official flower of the state of Washington.
The State Flag
The state flag and the state seal are similar. Passed in 1923, Washington law describes the flag as having nighttime light-green bunting with a state seal in the center. In the late 1890s, a blue and gilded military state flag with George Washington’south profile on it flew over many cities and towns throughout the state. But when it came to a concluding decision, the current flag was adopted by the Legislature. Co-ordinate to police, the flag of the United States and the flag of the state shall be prominently installed, displayed and maintained in schools, court rooms and state buildings. For farther data nearly the country flag, check the
Secretary of State’s
In 1946, an Oregon paper teased Washington for not having a land tree. The Portland
picked out the western hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla for us, but Washington newspapers decided to choose their own and selected the popular western cherry cedar. State Representative George Adams of Mason County pleaded with the Legislature to adopt the western hemlock. The hemlock, he said, would become “the backbone of this state’s forest manufacture.” Adams’ bill passed the Legislature and was signed into law in 1947.
The goldfinch is a delicate petty bird with a yellow trunk and black wings, and although information technology eventually became the official land bird, many other birds were considered for the title. In 1928, legislators let school children select the land bird and the meadowlark won hands-down. Information technology was a dainty selection but seven other states already had called the same bird. Some other vote was taken in 1931 by the Washington Federation of Women’southward Clubs. Many birds were nominated, just the goldfinch won handily over the tanager, song sparrow, junco and pileated woodpecker. Now there were two state birds and the Legislature decided to leave the final choice to school children. In 1951, children voted for the goldfinch and the Legislature made information technology unanimous.
“Washington, My Dwelling house”
The state song, “Washington, My Home,” was written by Helen Davis, arranged past Stuart Churchill, and became the official state song in 1959. Simply, like the goldfinch, it had some stiff competition from another pop vocal. Back in 1909, “Washington Beloved” was adopted, sort of, by the Legislature. Professor Edmond Meany, the historian, wrote the words and Reginald de Koven, who also wrote “O Promise Me” and other operettas, wrote the music. But the official designation for the song was never formally introduced as a bill and and so was not function of the state’s code of constabulary. When a country senator from South Curve introduced a bill in 1959 to make “Washington, My Home” our country song, it was approved unanimously.
In April, 2002, the state song was performed at the state Capitol by the Tumwater Girls’ Choir, under the management of Jack Arend, choir director.
Download the sail music here:
Washington My Home
This recording is provided courtesy of
in two formats:
The steelhead trout is an anadromous fish, meaning it returns to fresh water rivers to spawn. The scales of the steelhead smoothen flecks of silver with a greyness spotted back from caput to tail and an intensely white belly; the two colors separated by a hint of opalescent pink. Steelhead trout is one of the most popular fish for recreational fishing, a major industry in Washington State. The steelhead trout (
Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus
) was adopted by the Legislature as a state symbol in 1969.
State Precious stone
The geological history of our state has encompassed many great changes, one of them beingness the many lava flows from volcanic fissures. Centuries agone, the interior of Washington was swampy and balmy with many trees such as cypress, oak, elm and gingko growing in wet areas. Layers of logs were preserved with each new lava flow, and as the layers grew deeper, many of the logs became waterlogged and lay protected in deep water. Over fourth dimension, water continued to seep through the lava and permeate the wood with silica. Eventually, the wood fiber was completely replaced past silica, thus petrifying many logs. The petrified wood is perfect in form and particular to the original forest. In 1975, petrified wood was adopted every bit the state jewel. The best identify to run across petrified wood is the Gingko Petrified Forest State Park in Vantage.
On April 17, 1979, the square dance became the official Washington state trip the light fantastic toe. When the pioneers came west, they brought with them a dance called the quadrille, which means square in French. The pioneers liked the simpler term and then the square trip the light fantastic toe was born. The dance is known for its series of figures and footwork. Dancers are directed by a caller. It is like shooting fish in a barrel to learn, a good course of practice, and fun.
Country Folk Vocal
“Roll On, Columbia, Roll On”
In the early 1940s, the federal Bonneville Power Administration produced a moving-picture show encouraging rural residents in the Pacific Northwest to electrify their homes and farms with the ability being generated past the newly-built Bonneville and Grand Coulee Dams on the Columbia River. As part of the project, BPA hired folksinger Woody Guthrie at $270 for 30 days to write songs for the motion picture. Guthrie wrote 26 songs, the near popular of which was “Roll On, Columbia, Scroll On,” an ode to the harnessing of Washington’s mightiest river. It was approved as the official Washington state folk vocal past the Legislature in 1987.
Washington is the nation’due south top apple-producing state, so it is appropriate that the apple was named a state symbol in 1989, the centennial twelvemonth. A favorite fruit around the world, the apple comes in many different colors, sizes and varieties. From the beautiful blossoms of spring, to the heavily laden branches in autumn, the apple trees of eastern Washington represent ane of the largest industries in the state. The Washington apple is certainly i of the nigh recognized symbols of the state worldwide.
Although many state symbols are readily identifiable with the western office of the country, bluebunch wheatgrass is a country symbol that is unique to eastern Washington. Bluebunch wheatgrass was a approving to Washington’due south pioneer farmers and continues to play a major role in our agriculture industry today. It was adopted past the 1989 Legislature equally the official state grass. Its botanical name is
A tartan is a pattern for the weaving of cloth consisting of perpendicular bands of contrasting colors on a solid background. The Washington Country tartan was designed in 1988 by Vancouver, USA Country Dancers Margaret McLeod van Nus and Frank Cannonita to commemorate the Washington State Centennial celebration. It is identified past the background color green, which represents the rich forests of Washington, the “Evergreen State.” The perpendicular bands of contrasting colors correspond the following features: blue for the lakes, rivers and bounding main; white for the snow-capped mountains; ruddy for the apple and cherry crops; yellow for the wheat and grain crops; and black for the eruption of Mountain St. Helens. The bill, designating a state tartan, was signed into police in 1991. The Quango of the Scottish Tartans Society also affixed its seal to the official Document of Accreditation in 1991.
Green Darner Dragonfly
In 1997, the mutual green darner dragonfly,
Anax junius Drury, became Washington’s official state insect after a group of students at Crestwood Unproblematic Schoolhouse in Kent brought the thought to the Legislature. Students from over 100 schoolhouse districts statewide participated in the selection of the common green darner dragonfly. As well known every bit the “mosquito militarist,” this insect can be found throughout Washington and is a beneficial contributor to the ecosystem considering it consumes a large number of insect pests. It is hands recognizable by its bright greenish head and thorax, it has a 4 to 6-inch wingspan and can fly 25 to 35 miles per hour. In that location are over 400 different species of dragonflies. Dragonflies existed prior to the dinosaur age and some had upwards to a three-foot wing span. “Darner” is one family of dragonflies and the mutual light-green (Anax junius) was first sighted and recorded by Drury in 1773.
Post-obit a four-year attempt by students from Windsor Elementary School nearly Cheney to take this behemoth designated as our state fossil, the Legislature recognized in 1998 that the large, hairy prehistoric elephants of the extinct genus Mammuthus roamed the North American continent, including the Pacific Northwest, during the Pleistocene epoch (ice ages). Mammoth is the common proper name given to any member of an extinct genus Mammuthus of the elephant family unit. The beginning Due north American mammoths migrated across the Bering Strait from Asia downwardly through Alaska about two one thousand thousand years ago. Nearly all mammoths died out about 10,000 years ago. From studies based on deposits of the Columbian mammoths, Yard. columbi, it is clear that grasses featured prominently in their diets. The maximum life expectancy of the mammoth would have been 60 to 65 years. The males grew to the size of modern adult elephants; females were about one-half that size. Several years ago, fossils of the Columbian mammoth were found on the Olympic Peninsula.
State Marine Mammal
As a result of two years of research and persuasion by second graders from the Crescent Harbor Unproblematic School in Oak Harbor, the Legislature designated the orca, Orcinus orca, as the official marine mammal of the state of Washington in 2005. Many people visit Washington state to watch orcas; the orca is a pregnant symbol for the Native American culture; in that location are pods of orcas that migrate annually through Puget Sound; and the orca is easily recognizable considering of its distinct markings. The designation is intended to promote orca awareness and to encourage protection of the natural marine habitat.
Walla Walla sweet onion
In 2007, the Walla Walla sugariness onion was designated equally the official vegetable of the state of Washington.
The Walla Walla Sweet is from Walla Walla and is only grown properly in the Walla Walla Valley. The Walla Walla Sweetness finds its origins on the island of Corsica. Over a century ago, a retired French soldier found a sweet onion seed in that location and brought it to the Walla Walla Valley. The sweet onion had impressive winter hardiness well-suited for the climate of southeastern Washington. Soon he and other immigrants in the area began harvesting the seed. After several generations of careful mitt selection, the sweet onion adult greater sweetness, size, and shape. Today, there are many growers producing Walla Walla Sweet onions on farmland in the Walla Walla Valley. Sweet onion season is mid-June through September.
The measure was a class project for a seventh-course honors social-studies class at Eatonville Middle School. In prior years, the pecker had also been a project of a Kirkland Junior high schoolhouse.
In 2007, the Pacific chorus frog was designated equally the official amphibian of the State of Washington.
Because Pacific chorus frogs live in every county in the country and on both sides of the Cascades, they are an excellent choice equally an emblem for the whole state. The Pacific chorus frog is charming and makes cute sounds. Less than two inches long, they peachy their throat sacs to three times the size of their heads to send their calls into the night. This amphibian is useful because information technology eats insects, including mosquitoes. It is recognizable past the blackness stripe through the middle to the shoulder, and can be brown, tan, grayness or green. A native amphibian, it is preyed upon by bullfrogs, snakes, raccoons, shorebirds, hawks and ducks.
A third course class at Boston Harbor Grade Schoolhouse in north Olympia, demonstrated excellent knowledge virtually the political procedure in making this proposal to the Legislature equally the project involved science, research, art, and persuasive writing.
The legislature designated the
as the official transport of the country of Washington in 2007.
Built over a ii-year menstruation and launched on March vii, 1989, the ship was built in Aberdeen past the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Dominance. Chief shipwrights from all over the Pacific Northwest synthetic her near the confluence of the Wishkah and Chehalis rivers. The
is based in Aberdeen.
A reproduction sailing ship of the original Washington/Lady Washington that sailed during approximately 1750-1798, the vessel type is a “brig,” indicating the configuration of the sails.
The Office of the Secretary of State for the land of Washington holds a mortgage on the vessel to secure the investment of the people of Washington.
(photograph courtesy of Ron Arel)
State Endemic Mammal
In 2009, the Olympic marmot, the only endemic mammal in Washington state, was designated equally the state endemic mammal following a proposal from the 4th and 5th graders at Wedgwood School in Seattle. The Olympic Marmot inhabits the Olympic Peninsula in the western department of Washington. Olympic Marmots are highly social animals and may alive in groups of over a dozen animals. Gregarious bonds are fabricated between animals in a family. Olympic Marmots identify each other past touching noses and smelling cheeks. Olympic Marmots hibernate from September to May. During the morning and afternoon on summer days, they feed and spend their time sunbathing on rocks. In the evening, they render to their burrows. Olympic Marmots are relatively easy to see during the summer months along Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park.
was designated the official oyster of the state of Washington. This native oyster species plays an important office in the history and culture that surrounds shellfish in Washington state and along the west declension of the United States. Some of the common tribal and other names used for this species are Native, Western, and Olympia.
was designated as a state symbol in 2014.
The tourist manufacture is a vital part of the state’s economy. Palouse Falls has visitors numbering averaging over fourscore yard to one hundred one thousand per year. The falls drib one hundred ninety-eight feet identifying them every bit the last remaining year-round waterfalls left by the ice age floods.
Palouse Falls was named sixth on the top x best United states of america waterfalls list, 10th on the list of the earth’southward most amazing waterfalls, and the site of the world record breaking kayak driblet.
Palouse Falls surrounding area is the location for the oldest documented remains found in the western hemisphere; domicile of the Palouse Native American culture; birthplace of the Appaloosa equus caballus; and documented in Lewis and Clark’due south journals.
The Palouse Falls was designated as a land symbol in 2014.
— Unofficial State Symbols —
Some mottos and icons are understood to represent our country, even though they take never been officially adopted past the legislature.
“Al-ki” or “Alki”
Al-ki or Alki is an Indian word meaning “bye and adieu.” This motto kickoff appeared on the territorial seal designed past Lt. J.Thousand. Duncan of Gov. Stevens’ surveying expedition. On 1 side information technology pictures a log motel and an immigrant carriage with a fir forest in the background; on the other side, a sheet of water existence traversed by a steamer and sailing vessel, a city in perspective; the Goddess of Promise and an anchor is in the eye. The figure points at the pregnant word “Alki.” Settlers from the schooner
named their settlement on Alki Point, New York. The new settlement was slower to grow than its Due east Coast counterpart, still, so the proper name was inverse to New York-Alki, significant “into the futurity” — the 1850s version of the term “bye and bye” or, “I will see you, cheerio and bye.”
“The Evergreen State”
On November 11, 1889, Washington became the 42nd state to enter the Wedlock. It is the only state in the Wedlock that is named for a president. Washington was nicknamed “The Evergreen Country” past C.T. Conover, pioneer Seattle realtor and historian, for its arable evergreen forests. The nickname has never been officially adopted.
State Capitol Building
The nowadays land capitol edifice in Olympia, Washington, was commencement occupied by the Legislature in March 1927. The blueprint is reminiscent of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. It is also closest in pattern to the U.South. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Although not an official state symbol, the image of this architectural structure truly represents our state government and beautiful capitol city.