Location Map

Washington’s state symbols appear to embrace two themes, George Washington and the Pacific Northwest. (Continued below)

Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames The Evergreen State, Chinook State  
Symbols of State
Motto Alki 1893
Song Washington, My Home 1959
EcoSymbols
Flower coast rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) 1959
(former) rhododendron (Rhododendron californicum) 1949
Tree western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) 1947
Grass bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) 1989
Fruit apple (Malus) 1989
Vegetable Walla Walla sweet onion (Allium cepa) 2007
Bird willow goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) 1951
Endemic Mammal Olympic marmot (Marmota olympus) 2009
Marine Mammal orca (Orcinus orca) 2005
Amphibian Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla) 2007
Fish steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) 1969
Insect green darner dragonfly (Anax junius) 1997
Oyster Ostrea lurida 2014
Gem petrified wood 1975
Fossil † Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) 1998
Soil Tokul (unofficial) Unofficial
Waterfall Palouse Falls 2014
Cultural Symbols
Ship President Washington 1983
Tall Ship Lady Washington 2007
Arboretum Washington Park Arboretum (University of Washington, Seattle) 1995
Tartan 1991
Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1979
Folk Song Roll on Columbia, Roll On 1987

The state is named for George Washington, who is depicted on the state flag and seal. Washington also has an official ship and tall ship, named the President Washington and Lady Washington.

Washington State Flag State Seal

The Lady Washington is a sailing ship, but the President Washington was a container ship. How exciting is that? It’s a reminder that the Pacific Northwest is ruled by corporate Seattle.

State Nickname

The nickname Evergreen State was inspired by Washington’s vast forests. But there’s a catch: The nickname was actually coined by a Seattle real estate agent.

Washington’s state motto, Alki, reflects the hope that Seattle might one day be the West Coast’s equivalent of New York City. Sadly, that dream is coming true as the Seattle area’s population explodes.

Palouse Falls
The only waterfall adopted as a state symbol, Palouse Falls is among the few symbols representing Eastern Washington.
* * * * *

The introduction above is excerpted from My State Symbols Book. The symbols listed in the table above are linked to pages on my master symbols site, Geobop’s Symbols.

You can learn still more about the symbols of the 50 states in the books Flag Quest, Grading the States, and—if you’re really hard core—Geobop’s State Symbols.

After you spend some time exploring Washington’s symbols, you can come back here and tell us what you think about the symbols of the Evergreen State.

Having lived in Washington for a long time (including military service at Pacific Beach and college in Bellingham), I have some strong opinions. The land is beautiful, but the state is controlled by some very powerful and sleazy people. Not surprisingly, Washington’s symbols have a few problems.

We can start with its flag, which depicts a slave owner who never traveled west of the Missouri River. One of the uglier state flags, it looks like a dollar bill. My vision of a new Washington State flag is displayed at the top of the page.