Do you know Tennessee's official state symbols?


Do you know Tennessee's official state symbols?

Each state in America boasts its own culture, history, and natural beauty. To represent such diversity, people from these states have chosen their own set of symbols and customs. Specific flags, songs, mottos, flowers, and even fruits commemorate the uniqueness of individual states. Some of these symbols border on the bizarre: Texas, for example, has made the Dutch oven its official state cooking pot. Other symbols are more universal, like state birds.

Many people remember learning about their states' history back in elementary school. But can you still remember your state bird? How about your state flower? To test your state knowledge, Stacker compiled a list of symbols in Tennessee.

Clue: Tennessee state fish

Clue (sport fish): This fish has been the Volunteer State's official game fish since 2005 when it replaced its larger-mouthed cousin, which is still the official fish for several other states. Tennessee is the only state to honor this fish as its own.

Clue (state commercial fish): This fish is the most highly populated throughout the United States, which makes sense when one learns it's the official state fish of not just Tennessee but Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska, as well. As eating opportunists, they can wreak havoc if they're introduced to non-native waterways. These fish stand out for having no scales and being monogamous for life. 

Answer: Tennessee state fish

Answers: Smallmouth bass (sport fish), channel catfish (state commercial fish)

Clue: Tennessee state mammal

Tennessee has no state mammal but it could consider this one: The largest of the squirrel family (it can weigh up to 14 pounds), this creature resides in burrows that it digs. A widely celebrated bit of folklore is based on this animal coming out of its burrow in early spring. It has two common names, and a less common one: whistle pig, for the sound it makes.

Answer: Tennessee state mammal

- State mammal: None
- Proposed: Woodchuck/groundhog

Clue: Tennessee state song

Only two of Tennessee’s 10 officially recognized state songs don’t have the word “Tennessee” in the title. One was made famous by the Osborne Brothers and the other was written by Dennis Morgan and Kye Fleming.

Answer: Tennessee state song

- Answer:
--- "My Homeland, Tennessee"
--- "When It's Iris Time in Tennessee"
--- "My Tennessee"
--- "Tennessee Waltz"
--- "Rocky Top"
--- "Tennessee"
--- "The Pride of Tennessee"
--- "A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap: 1796-1996"
--- "Smoky Mountain Rain"
--- "Tennessee"

Clue: Tennessee state insect

State insect #1: This species displays a variety of defense mechanisms against predators. These include producing a sticky substance to entangle predators in, and a foul odor to repel them. Additionally, males of this insect emit a targeted flash to locate females to mate with, pairing up with a partner once a female responds with a flash of her own.

State insect #2: This species is one of the biggest predators of aphids, and as such, has been used for pest-control against them, similarly to the convergent lady beetle. It completes overwintering in forest edges, among ground litter, and under rocks and tree bark.

State agricultural insect: This insect is an invasive species in many non-native areas it inhabits, often displacing native birds and insects. It is the third insect to have its genome mapped, following the fruit fly and mosquito.

State butterfly: This species hovers closely to pawpaw trees, which provide a crucial food source for adults and young. It can be recognized by the ‘swordlike’ tails that extend from its greenish-white wings.

Answer: Tennessee state insect

- State insect #1: Common eastern firefly (Photinus pyralis)
- State insect #2: Seven-spotted ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata)
- State agricultural insect: European honey bee (Apis mellifera)
- State butterfly: Zebra swallowtail butterfly (Eurytides marcellus)

Clue: Tennessee state tree

Tennessee is the third state to honor this tree and its large, distinctive leaves as its state symbol. In Tennessee, this tree grows throughout the state and was used by early settlers for houses, barns, and canoes; some Tennessee residents know it as the “canoe wood” tree to honor this early use.

Answer: Tennessee state tree

Answer: Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Clue: Tennessee state bird

This popular and highly vocal bird is common all over the United States. The species is recognized for its incredibly complex singing abilities.

Answer: Tennessee state bird

Answer: Northern mockingbird

Clue: Tennessee state flower

Known as the “state cultivated flower” of Tennessee, this flower comes in a variety of colors, with purple being the most recognizable. Tennessee gardeners will often grow these flowers as decorative borders for their gardens. These flowers consist of three standard petals and three drooping petals.

Answer: Tennessee state flower

Answer: Iris

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