“Mount Rushmore State” celebrates the epic
sculpture of the faces of four exalted American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore
Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. South Dakota’s Black Hills provide the back-drop for Mount Rushmore, the
world’s greatest mountain carving. These 60-foot high faces, 500-feet up, look out over a setting of pine,
spruce, birch, and aspen in the clear western air.
Tennessee has had several nicknames, but the most popular is
“The Volunteer State.” The nickname originated during the War of 1812, in which the
volunteer soldiers from Tennessee, serving under Gen. Andrew Jackson, displayed marked valor in the Battle
of New Orleans.
Other nicknames include the “Big Bend State,” which refers to the Indian name of the
Tennessee River; “The River with the Big Bend”; and “Hog and Hominy State,” now
obsolete but formerly applied because “the corn and pork products of Tennessee were in such great
proportions between 1830 and 1840”; and “The Mother of Southwestern Statesmen,”
because Tennessee furnished the United States three presidents and a number of other leaders who served with
distinction in high government office.
Tennesseans sometimes are referred to as “Volunteers,”“Big Benders” and “Butternuts.”
The first two are derived from the nickname of the state, while the tag of “Butternuts” was first
applied to Tennessee soldiers during the War Between the States because of the tan color of their uniforms.
Later, it sometimes was applied to people across the entire state.
A single star was part of the Long Expedition (1819), Austin Colony
(1821) and several flags of the early Republic of Texas. Some say that the star represented the wish of many
Texans to achieve statehood in the United States. Others say it originally represented Texas as the lone
state of Mexico which was attempting to uphold its rights under the Mexican Constitution of 1824. At least
one “lone star” flag was flown during the Battle of Concepcion and the Siege of Bexar (1835). Joanna
Troutman’s flag with a single blue star was raised over Velasco on January 8, 1836. Another flag with a
single star was raised at the Alamo (1836) according to a journal entry by David Crockett. One carried by
General Sam Houston’s Texian army (which defeated Mexican General Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto )
may have been captured and taken to Mexico. Another “lone star” flag, similar to the current one but with
the red stripe above the white, was also captured the following year (1837) and returned to Mexico. The
“David G. Burnet” flag, of “an azure ground” (blue background) “with a large golden star central” was
adopted by the Congress of the Republic of Texas in December of 1836. It continued in use as a battle flag
after being superseded in January of 1839. The 1839 design has been used to symbolize the Republic and the
“Lone Star State” ever since.
“Beehive State” The beehive became the official state
emblem on March 4, 1959. Utahans relate the beehive symbol to industry and the pioneer virtues of thrift and
perseverance. The beehive was chosen as the emblem for the provisional State of Deseret in 1848 and was
maintained on the seal of the State of Utah when Utah became a state in 1896.
“Green Mountain State” Verd Mont was a name
given to the Green Mountains in October, 176l, by the Rev. Dr. Peters, the first clergyman who paid a visit
to the 30,000 settlers in that country, in the presence of Col. Taplin, Col. Willes, Col. Peters, Judge
Peters and many others, who were proprietors of a large number of townships in that colony. The ceremony was
performed on the top of a rock standing on a high mountain, then named Mount Pisgah because it provided to
the company a clear sight of lake Champlain at the west, and of Connecticut river at the east, and
overlooked all the trees and hills in the vast wilderness at the north and south.
“Old Dominion State” Charles II of England
quartered the arms of Virginia on his shield in 1663, thus adding Virginia to his dominions of France,
Ireland and Scotland. Called the “Mother State” because it was the first state to be
source: State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols by Benjamin F. Shearer, Barbara S. Shearer
On November 11, 1889, Washington became the 42nd state to
enter the Union. It is the only state named for a president. Washington was nicknamed “The Evergreen
State” by C.T. Conover, pioneer Seattle realtor and historian, for its abundant evergreen
forests. The nickname was adopted by the Legislature in February, 1893.
The Appalachian Mountains extend through the eastern
portion of the state, giving West Virginia its nickname of the “Mountain State.”
“Badger State” Although the badger has been
closely associated with Wisconsin since territorial days, it was not declared the official state animal
until 1957. Over the years its likeness had been incorporated in the state coat of arms, the seal, the flag
and even State Capitol architecture, as well as being immortalized in the song “On, Wisconsin!” (“Grand old
Wyoming is known as the “Equality State”
because of the rights women have traditionally enjoyed there. Wyoming women were the first in the nation to
vote, serve on juries and hold public office.