Way back in the 1980s, I began researching the stories behind the hundreds of symbols that have been adopted by the 50 states. I created GeoSymbols.com, which reigned as the #1 state symbols reference until its demise many years later.
About the time I began working on my state symbols project, I was transitioning from a career as a wildlife biologist in Alaska to a teacher in the urban wilderness of Gothic Seattle. Yes, it was a stupid choice, but it’s a long story. Suffice it to say that working for the famously corrupt Seattle School District transformed me into a political activist.
When I got back in the saddle, I could see our state symbols from even more perspectives than before.
In 2022, I decided to recreate my state symbols website (at Geobop’s Symbols), which is even bigger and better than before. I also started working on a series of books about state symbols. My books and websites are by far the best state symbols reference bar none.
More than a casual observer, I’m very critical of many state symbols. I’m particularly involved in the effort to upgrade our state flags, most of which are frankly crappy. Below are the flags I designed to represent my native South Dakota and Washington State, where I now live.