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California State Symbols, Songs, and Emblems

For the latest symbols information, visit the NETSTATE CHRONICLE.

DesignationList a-z Symbol / Emblem Adopted


California State Library, History and Culture - State Symbols, <http://www.library.ca.gov/history/symbols.html> (Accessed 11 December 2009)
Shankle, George Earlie. State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols. Irvine, Calif.: Reprint Services Corp, Revised edition, 1971.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.

Amphibian California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) 2014
Animal California grizzly bear (Ursus californicus) 1953
Bird California valley quail (Lophortyx californica) 1931
Colors Blue and gold 1951
Dance West coast swing dance 1988
Fabric Denim 2016
Fife and drum corp California Consolidated Drum Band 1997
Fish California golden trout (Salmo aqua bonita) 1947
Flag Find our more... 1911
Flower Golden poppy (Eschscholzia) 1903
Folk dance Square dance 1988
Fossil Sabre-toothed cat (Smilodon californicus) 1973
Gemstone Benitoite 1985
Gold rush ghost town Bodie 2002
Grass Purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra) 2004
Great seal Find out more... 1849
Historical society California Historical Society 1979
Insect California dogface butterfly (Zerene eurydice Boisduval, 1855) 1972
Lichen Lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii) 2015
Marine fish Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus) 1995
Marine mammal California gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) 1975
Marine reptile Pacific leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) 2012
Military museum California State Military Museum and Resource Center 2004
Mineral & mineralogic emblem Gold 1965
Outdoor play Ramona Pageant 1993
Pet Shelter pet 2015
Poet laureate Find out more... 2001
Prehistoric artifact Chipped stone bear 1991
Reptile California desert tortoise (Gopherus agasizzii) 1972
Rock & lithologic emblem Serpentine 1965
Silver rush ghost town Calico 2005
Soil San Joaquin soil 1997
Song "I Love You, California," words by F.B. Silverwood and music by A.F. Frankenstein 1951
Tall ship Californian 2003
Tartan Find out more... 2001
Theater Pasadena Playhouse 1937
Tree California redwood; Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens); and giant sequoia (Sequoia gigantea). The name, Sequoia gigantea was given to the giant sequoia by Joseph Decaisne in 1854. Though adopted, by the California legislature as Sequoia gigantea, the Giant Sequoia was more correctly identified as Sequoiadendron giganteum by John T. Buchholz in 1939. NETSTATE thanks to J. Jenneskens for bringing this to our attention. 1937
Vietnam veterans war memorial California Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Capitol Park, Sacramento 2013

Making laws in California

The California Legislature offers this Overview of Legislative Process to help us understand how laws are made in California. Also provided is a Glossary of Legislative Terms which will prove useful.

You might even take a moment to design your own bill and watch it become law using the game provided by the California State Assembly.

A complete Citizen's Guide to State Government is available from the California State Capitol Museum.

Additional Information

History and Culture - State Symbols: from the California State Library.

California Facts and Symbols
Facts and Symbols

Emily McAuliffe

California Facts and Symbols, by Emily McAuliffe. 24 pages. Publisher: Capstone Press; Rev Upd edition (August 2003) Reading level: Grades 3-4. Interest level: Grades 3-9. Perfect for report writing! Easy-to-read text covers major California symbols such as the state flag, seal, bird, tree, flower, animal, and more. A "Fast Facts" section highlights the state's capital city, largest city, physical size, population, natural resources, farm products, and primary manufactured goods. Also included are full-page maps that introduce the concept of the map key, which is great for teaching map-reading skills.

State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols
State Names, Seals
Flags and Symbols

Benjamin F. Shearer
Barbara S. Shearer

State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols, by Benjamin F. Shearer, Barbara S. Shearer. 544 pages. Greenwood Press; 3 Sub edition (October 30, 2001) This is one of the best, and most comprehensive, books we could find about the official state names and nicknames, mottoes, seals, flags, capitols, flowers, trees, birds, songs, and miscellaneous designations of each state. This, coupled with the 1938 Shankle book, formed the basis of our symbol library. If you're serious about your states symbols, you'll want to have this book and the one below. This book also contains information about state hoarays, license plates, sports teams, universities and other trivia.

State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols, by George Earlie Shankle. 522 pages. Reprint Services Corp; Revised edition (June 1971) Reprint of the 1938 revised edition. The first comprehensive book about our state symbols! From the preface: "This book grew out of the desire of its author to know, about his native state, a great many facts which he found exceedingly difficult to obtain. After three years of research in the Library of Congress, he is able to give to the public this storehouse of information, which could have been gathered from not library less fertile in source material..."

Visit the NETSTATE California State Book Store for additional California related books, including California Reference Books, History, Biographies and Cookbooks.

To Arkansas state symbols

To Colorado state symbols