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Delaware State Symbols


State Bird / State Bug / State Tree / State Flower / State Fish /

State Mineral / State Nickname / State Song / State Seal

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State Bird

"The Blue Hen Chicken"

Adopted April 14, 1939, the Blue Hen Chicken had long been used as a motif in numerous political campaigns and in many publications. During the Revolutionary War, the men of Captain Jonathan Caldwell's company, recruited in Kent County, took with them game chickens that were said to be of the brood of a famous Blue Hen and were noted for their fighting ability. When not fighting the enemy, the officers and men amused themselves by pitting these Blue Hen chickens in cockfights. The fame of these cockfights spread throughout the army and when in battle, the Delaware men fought so valorously that they were compared to these fighting cocks.

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State Bug

"the Lady Bug"

Adopted April 25, 1974, the Lady Bug was chosen by the Legislature after an intensive effort on the insect's behalf by a group of elementary school children.

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State Tree

"The American Holly"

Adopted May 1, 1939, the American Holly is regarded as one of Delaware's most important forest trees. Often called Christmas holly or evergreen holly, the tree has dark, thorny-leaved foliage and red berries. In Delaware the tree can reach a maximum of 60 feet in height and a trunk diameter of 20 inches.

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State Flower

"The Peach Blossom"

Passage of the act to adopt the Peach Blossom on May 9, 1895, was prompted by Delaware's reputation as the "Peach State," since her orchards contained more than 800,000 peach trees yielding a crop worth thousands of dollars at that time.

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State Fish

"the Weakfish"

(Cynoscion regalis)

In recognition of sportfishing's overall recreational and economic contributions to the state of Delaware and of the specific values of the weakfish (Cynoscion regalis) as a game and food fish, the state Legislature adopted the weakfish as Delaware's State fish in 1981. This fish is also known as sea trout, gray trout, yellow mouth, yellow fin trout, squeteague, and tiderunner.

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State Mineral

"Sillimanite"

Sillimanite is most often foundin the form of brown, grayish, or pale green crystals organized in either fibrous or columnar configurations.

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State Nickname

"The First State"

The "First State" is known by this title because on December 7, 1787, it became the first of the 13 original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Delaware is also known as "The Diamond State" because it has been described as a "jewel" among states due to its strategic location on the Eastern Seaboard. Other nicknames - Small Wonder, Blue Hen State.

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State Song

"Our Delaware"

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State Seal

Adopted January 17, 1777, the state seal contains the coat of arms. It also bears the inscription around it "Great Seal of the State of Delaware" and the dates 1793, 1847, and 1907. Minor changes were made to the seal's design in 1793 and 1847. 1907 is the year in which the seal currently in use was procured.

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