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State Symbols

State Motto: "Forward" Reflecting Wisconsin's continuous drive to be a national leader, the state adopted "Forward" as the official state motto in 1851.

State Flag: Last altered in 1979, the state flag flutters in the breeze over Wisconsin representing the rich history of our great state.

State Song:"On Wisconsin!" The rhythmic and rousing beats of "On Wisconsin," already a popular football song since 1909, began filling the air as the official state song in 1959.

State Flower: Wood Violet (Viola papilionacea) Adopted as Wisconsin's official state flower on Arbor Day 1909, the wood violet's gentle green leaves and purple petals sway in the breeze reflecting Wisconsin's scenic beauty.

State Bird: Robin (Turdus migratorius) A welcome sign of the coming spring, the red-breasted robin won the hearts of school children across the state, who voted to name it the state bird in 1926-27.

State Tree: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) With its bright yellow fall colors, and its delectable spring harvest of sweet maple sugar, the sugar maple became the state's official tree in 1949.

State Fish: Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy Mitchell) Source of many monster fish stories in the state's famed Northwoods, the "muskie" leapt into the state books as the official state fish in 1955.

State Animal: Badger (Taxidea taxus) Closely associated with Wisconsin since the territorial days, the ferocious Badger has lent its likeness to the state's coat of arms, flag, and song, and is even the proud mascot of the University of Wisconsin.

State Wildlife Animal: White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) The white-tailed deer, in all its grace and power, perked its ears as it was appointed the state wildlife animal in 1957.

State Domesticated Animal: Dairy Cow (Bos taurus) Reflecting the importance of the dairy industry in Wisconsin's economy and heritage, the docile dairy cow became the state domesticated animal of "America's Dairyland" in 1971.

State Mineral: Galena (Lead sulphide) A combination of abundance, uniqueness, economic value, historical significance and native nature lead to the appointment of Galena as the state mineral in 1971.

State Rock: Red Granite Chosen for its economic importance in the state in 1971, the speckled igneous rock is composed of quartz and feldspar.

State Symbol of Peace: Mourning Dove (Zenaidura macroura corolinensis linnaus) With a gentle "coo" and a graceful flap of its wings, the mourning dove flew over the state as the official symbol of peace in 1971.

State Insect: Honeybee (Apis mellifera) The state recognized the sweet contributions of the honeybee as it buzzed from blossom to blossom in 1977.

State Soil: Antigo Silt Loam (Typic glossoboralf) Created during the last great glaciers, the level, silty soil was chosen to represent the more than 500 major soil types found in Wisconsin.

State Fossil: Trilobite (Calymene celebra) Flourishing in the warm, shallow salt waters of prehistoric seas, the extinct marine arthropod crawled its way into the state record in 1985 as the state fossil.

State Dog: American Water Spaniel Full of life, and always ready to spring into action for the hunt, the American water spaniel won the hearts of the citizens of Wisconsin, who selected it as the state dog in 1985.

State Beverage: Milk The perfect complement to cookies, "America's Dairyland" chose to make milk the official beverage of the state to echo its abundant dairy heritage in 1987.

State Grain:Corn (Zea mays) Used for everything from livestock feed, to ethanol fuel, to the cornerstone of a delectable summer barbecue, corn was made the official state grain in 1989 to bring attention to its many uses.

State Dance: Polka Reflecting the rich Czech-Polish and German heritage found throughout the state, the Polka was adopted as the newest state symbol, the official state dance, in 1993.


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