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WEST VIRGINIA - STATE TRIVIA - SYMBOLS & FACTS

Animal blackbear.jpg (27429 bytes) 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.
Bird cardinalmale.jpg (36412 bytes)

cardinalfemale.jpg (8363 bytes)

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.
Fish brooktrout.jpg (46418 bytes) Brook Trout
Flower rhododendronmaximus.jpg (28331 bytes) 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.
Fruit goldendelicious.jpg (12519 bytes) 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.
Gem lithostrotionella.jpg (7194 bytes) 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.
Insect honeybee.jpg (35196 bytes) 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.
Soil  

Monongahela Silt Loam. Adopted by concurrent resolution in 1997, making West Virginia the 12th state to have an official state soil.

Tree sugarmaplefall.jpg (36640 bytes)

sugarmapleleaf.jpg (5716 bytes)

sugarmaplesummer.jpg (24997 bytes)

sugarmapleseed.jpg (8411 bytes)

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 tree
Motto   Montani Semper Liberi - Mountaineers are Always Free
Songs   West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home by Julian G. Hearne, Jr. Adopted 1947

The West Virginia Hills, words and music by Ellen King and H. E. Engle. Adopted 1961

This is My West Virginia, by Iris Bell. Adopted February 28, 1963

Day June 20 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, 1927.
Colors Old Gold & Blue

Old Gold and Blue were designated as official state colors by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 20, adopted by the Legislature on March 8, 1963.

Seal

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

Flag wvflag.jpg (16624 bytes)

wvflagdetail.jpg (38004 bytes)

West 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.

Highest Elevation Spruce Knob.jpg (8616 bytes) Spruce Knob
(4863 feet)
Pendleton Co.
Lowest Elevation Potomac River.jpg (34679 bytes) Potomac River
(240 feet)
Jefferson Co.
Area 24,231 square miles Ranks 41st of the 50 states
Electoral College Votes 5