The U.S. states can have an official flag, song, flower, and more. But did you know that many states have very unique and elaborate things that they made official government symbols?
Here’s our list of zany items that have been made official to represent their state.
Massachusetts made the corn muffin its official muffin in 1986. While Cape Cod lawmakers wanted the official muffin to be cranberry, corn won out in the Senate. Corn muffins were advocated for because they were used in trade between the Indians and the state’s early settlers and because corn is grown in Massachusetts.
In 2007, Oklahoma named the watermelon its official vegetable, explaining that the watermelon belongs to the cucumber family. Scandalous! And their state fruit is a strawberry.
Deleware declared the Stonefly its official “macroinvertebrate” in 2005. Because the presence of stoneflies is indicative of excellent water quality, Deleware wanted to bring attention to this. Deleware has had numerous initiatives for water quality.
Vermont is the only state with a government-recognized flavor. Any guesses? Vermont chose to make “Maple” its official flavor.
Nebraska has a state drink that most kids love. In 1998, Kool-aid was recognized. It was an unusual move to designate something other than milk as its official beverage. Kool-aid was created in Hastings, Nebraska in 1927.
Utah made this wiggly dessert its official snack in 2001. Included in the bill to pass Jello as its state snack, were the many reasons including:
- Jello was introduced to the U.S. in 1897 (only one year after Utah was admitted to the Union)
- Utah consumed the most Jello per capita for many years
- Jello is fun and well, so is Utah
One way to increase physical fitness in your state is to make exercise official. Maryland did this in 2008 making “walking” its designated state exercise because of its health benefits and low-impact.
Most states have named various birds as symbols for their states so why would a state bird be on our strange list? Well, the bird is plastic. Wisconsin, in 2009, voted to make plastic pink flamingos official after years of pink flamingos flocking the state. It originated in 1979, when students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison covered the campus with more than 1,000 plastic flamingos on the first day of school as a prank.
New Mexico was the first state to select an official cookie. They did so in 1989, choosing the bizcochito, a rich buttery shortbread cookie flavored with anise and cinnamon. Other states have followed suit and named various cookies to represent.
Yep, a dinosaur! D.C.’s official state dinosaur is the Capitalsaurus. This is no joke. In the late 1800s, a fossil was discovered. But because not enough fossil was unearthed, it cannot be scientifically recognized. Despite not being able to prove this new genus of dinosaur, Washington D.C. has embraced this dinosaur – naming a street, a holiday and their state dinosaur after the Capitalsaurus!