WEST VIRGINIA -
STATE TRIVIA - SYMBOLS & FACTS
|| Black Bear (Ursus Americanus) The Black Bear was
selected as West Virginia's official State Animal by a poll of students,
teachers and sportsmen conducted by the Division of Natural Resources in
1954-1955. It was officially adopted by the Legislature during the 1973 Regular
Session with the approval of House Concurrent Resolution 6.
|| Cardinal (Cardinalis Cardinalis)
On March 7, 1949, legislation was passed allowing for the adoption of an
official bird and tree, to be decided by a vote. The cardinal was named the state's official
state bird with the adoption of House Resolution 12 on March 7, 1949, which
authorized pupils from public schools and civic organizations to name the bird.
|| Brook Trout
|| Rhododendron (Rhododendron Maximum) With the
recommendation of the Governor and a vote by public school pupils, the
Legislature adopted House Joint Resolution 19 on January 29, 1903, naming the
Rhododendron the official state flower.
|| Golden Delicious Apple. Designated as the official state fruit
by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 7, adopted by the Legislature on February
20, 1995. Anderson Mullins discovered this apple variety in Clay County in 1905.
The plain apple had been previously designated as the official state fruit by
House Concurrent Resolution No. 56, adopted March 7, 1972.
Mississippian Fossil Coral. The State Gem is technically not a gemstone, but rather the silicified
Mississippian Fossil Coral Lithostrotionella, preserved as the siliceous
mineral chalcedony. Designated by House Concurrent Resolution No. 39, March 10,
1990. It is found in Hillsdale Limestone in portions of Greenbrier and
Pocahontas counties and is often cut and polished for jewelry and display.
|| The Honeybee (Apis Mellifera) became West Virginia’s
official state insect in 2002 by the Legislature’s Senate Concurrent
Resolution No. 9. In addition to its flavorful honey, the honeybee pollinates
many of the state’s most important crops including fruits, vegetables and
grasses. Its activity produces more benefit to the state’s economy than any
other insect. The honeybee has six legs, four wings and its coloring ranges from
dark yellow to gold with three dark bands on its abdomen.
Monongahela Silt Loam. Adopted by concurrent resolution in
1997, making West Virginia the 12th state to have an official state soil.
| Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum). The adoption of House
Concurrent Resolution 12 on March 7, 1949, authorized a vote by public school
students and civic organizations to name the Sugar Maple as the official state
||Montani Semper Liberi -
Mountaineers are Always Free
||West Virginia, My Home Sweet
Home by Julian G. Hearne, Jr. Adopted 1947
The West Virginia Hills, words and music by Ellen King and
Engle. Adopted 1961
This is My West Virginia, by Iris Bell.
Adopted February 28, 1963
|| West Virginia was proclaimed a state in 1863. “West Virginia Day”,
June 20, became a legal WV holiday by Chapter 59, Acts of the Legislature, Regular Session,
||Old Gold &
Old Gold and Blue were designated as official state colors by Senate
Concurrent Resolution No. 20, adopted by the Legislature on March 8, 1963.
Joseph H. Diss Debar, an artist from Doddridge County, was chosen by a
committee of the Legislature to prepare drawings for an official seal for the
State of West Virginia. The artist submitted his drawings with an explanation of
each detail and from these was adopted, by the Legislature, a seal which has
remained without change, the Official Seal of West Virginia.
The seal contains
the Latin motto, Montani Semper Liberi, which means “Mountaineers Are Always
Free.” A large stone in the center of the seal stands for strength. On the
stone is the date the State was admitted to the Union, June 20, 1863. The farmer
with his ax represents agriculture, and the miner holding his pick represents
industry. In front of the rock are two rifles, crossed and surmounted at the
place of contact by the Phrygian cap, or cap of liberty, indicating that freedom
and liberty were won and will be maintained by the force of arms. While the seal
was designed and adopted with two sides, only the front side is in common use. The Constitution of West Virginia,
Article 2, Section 7, provides that: “The present seal of the state, with its
motto ‘Montani Semper Liberi,’ shall be the great seal of the State of West
Virginia, and shall be kept by the secretary of state, to be used by him,
officially as directed by law.”
The reverse side of laurel and oak leaves, log house, hills, factories and
boats is the Governor’s Official Seal.
Virginia’s original flag was created for the Louisiana Purchase
Exposition of 1904, held in St. Louis, Missouri. A rhododendron, West
Virginia’s state flower, was depicted on the front side, the state coat of arms
was on the back. This flag was officially adopted in 1905. But two
years later the emblems were switched, the coat of
arms was now appearing on the front. In 1929 a new
design including both emblems on one side was
adopted, since it is less costly to produce a
one-sided flag. A white field (background)
bordered with blue now bears the arms, the
inscription “State of West Virginia,” and a
wreath of rhododendron.
The coat of arms is similar to the state seal,
which was adopted in 1863. Both contain the Latin
motto, Montani Semper Liberi, which means
“Mountaineers Are Always Free.” A large stone
in the center of the seal stands for strength. On
the stone is the date on which the State was
admitted to the Union, June 20, 1863. A farmer
with an axe represents agriculture, while a miner
with a pick represents industry. In front of the
rock are two crossed rifles supporting a Phrygian
cap, or cap of liberty. This indicates that
freedom and liberty were won and will be
maintained by the force of arms.
||Ranks 41st of the 50
|Electoral College Votes