Do you know Virginia's official state symbols?

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

Do you know Virginia'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 Virginia.

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Serge Melki // Wikimedia Commons

Clue: Virginia state fish

Clue (freshwater): One of the most legendary fish in Virginia's long angling tradition, this fish also takes top billing in several other states. They love dining on nymphs, aquatic insects that live under rocks, but they're opportunists that will eat pretty much whatever they can catch and digest.

Clue (saltwater): This fish is recognizable by its stocky body marked with seven or eight horizontal stripes that stretch from gills to tail. The 2018 stock assessment showed this species has been subject to overfishing.

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Derek Ramsey; Pacific Southwest Region USFWS // Wikimedia Commons; Flickr

Answer: Virginia state fish

Answers: Brook trout (freshwater), striped bass (salt water) 

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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

Clue: Virginia state mammal

The state mammal of Virginia has ears more than an inch long, which is pretty big (hint, hint) for an animal that weighs less than half an ounce. It lives in caves and feeds on moths and other insects.

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Larisa Bishop-Boros // Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Virginia state mammal

- State mammal: Virginia big-eared bat

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Clue: Virginia state song

For nearly two decades, Virginia didn’t have any official state song at all—then all of the sudden in 2015, it had two. Mike Greenly and Jim Papoulis created the traditional state song and the popular state song is by Robbin Thompson and Steve Bassett. The reason Virginia spent nearly 20 years without a state song is that in 1997, the former state song was retired for its racist lyrics—it’s now the state’s “song emeritus.”

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Deseronto Archives // Flickr

Answer: Virginia state song

- Answer:
--- Traditional state song: "Our Great Virginia"
--- Popular song: "Sweet Virginia Breeze"
--- Emeritus song: "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny"

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Jon Bilous // Shutterstock

Clue: Virginia state insect

The first known drawing of a butterfly in North America was of this species, drawn by John White in 1587 during one of Sir Walter Raleigh’s expeditions to Virginia. The insect was later described by Linnaeus in Systema Naturae in the mid-18th century.


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Ryan Hodnett // Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Virginia state insect

- State insect: Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

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Ron Cogswell // Flickr

Clue: Virginia state tree

Virginia shares its state tree with another southern state, but this tree’s distinctive, green-and-white flowers have plenty of beauty to go around. In Virginia, the tree is used for ornamental horticulture, ink production, and the wood for golf-club heads, tool handles, and other small, carved items.

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Stan Shebs // Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Virginia state tree

Answer: Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)

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Creative Commons

Clue: Virginia state bird

Virginia is one of many states to choose this distinctively colored and widely loved bird as its representative. Still, with the tourism and travel slogan "Virginia is for Lovers," it's fitting the state's official bird would be one that mates for life with its partner.

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Creative Commons

Answer: Virginia state bird

Answer: Northern cardinal

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Mike Goad // Pixabay

Clue: Virginia state flower

Along with being Virginia's official state flower, this is also the official state tree as of 1956. With graceful branches, this tree also produces red berries. Its blooms are not flowers, but rather bracts that attract pollinators.

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Alan Kotok // Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Virginia state flower

Answer: American dogwood

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