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|
|Song||Washington, My Home||1959||>|
|Flower||coast rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum)||1959||>|
|(former)||rhododendron (Rhododendron californicum)||1949|
|Tree||western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)||1947||>|
|Grass||bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata)||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||>|
|Fossil †||Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi)||1998||>|
|Tall Ship||Lady Washington||2007||>|
|Arboretum||Washington Park Arboretum (University of Washington, Seattle)||1995||>|
|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.
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.
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.
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.