Some would say that the very idea of America is symbolic. It’s the land of opportunity, the home of the free and brave, etc. And because we are a country that’s based on a ton of ideology and symbolism, we’re a country that loves official symbolism and mascots. There are national symbols, of course, like the bald eagle, stars and stripes and Uncle Sam. But mascots aren’t just at a national level. Every state in the union has multiple symbolic figures, but do you know what animal, food or mascot matches with each state?
Let’s play a game: Can you guess the U.S. state by its mascot? We’ve rounded up 50 official state animals, birds, plants and other symbols and mixed them all up. Which state made the American foxhound its official state dog? Which state is symbolized by a locomotive on its officially minted quarter? Which state has an animal its residents killed off in the center of its flag?
The matches to some of these U.S. state mascots (or symbols) may surprise you. Others, well… It’s pretty obvious who’s represtented by a lobster, right? Or maybe it isn’t. But play along and see if you can guess the state by its official symbol.
Milk is the official drink of 18 different states, but can you guess which cheese-obsessed state made the dairy cow its official domestic animal?
This beautiful bird is easily identifiable by its extra-long tail, but can you identify the one state that made it an official symbol?
The scissortail flycatcher exists in seven states, but only Oklahoma made it an official state bird. It’s even on the state’s official U.S. quarter.
These rascally, masked mammals are found in a lot of states. While two states have made the raccoon an official mascot, it only appears in one official state painting.
And that’s Tennessee! “Tennessee Treasures” is the official state painting of the Volunteer State, and it prominently features a raccoon in the center.
This sweet yellow canary feeds on the seeds of dandelions, sunflowers, ragweed and evening primrose. And while it’s the official state bird of three states, what state song does it sing the loudest?
Everyone loves a perfectly-cooked steak, but come on, you can probably guess which cattle-loving state made the longhorn its official state large mammal.
There are a lot of weird facts about Texas, but the Texas state animal isn’t one of them. It’s the longhorn. The University of Texas even made the longhorn its athletics mascot.
Not every state has an obvious mammal, bird or fish as its mascot. So what state built on industry is all about the train?
Utah loves industry so much, it’s the western state’s official motto. Seriously. It’s “Industry.” Utah is officially and unofficially committed to the locomotive. The imagery was on its state quarter, and Utah’s official rock is coal.
Five states have picked the mockingbird as their state bird, but can you guess what state we’re thinking of?
Arkansas! The northern mockingbird has been the official state bird of this state since 1929. But if you guessed Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee or Texas here, we won’t fault you.
If you’re a college sports fan, you already know what state is nutty about this nut.
Grizzly bears were chosen by students as the state animal in 1983 in this heartland state.
The whaling industry may be nonexistent in the continental United States today, but it majorly helped one of the original 13 colonies develop its industry. What state honored that by designating the sperm whale its official state animal?
Connecticut was the second-biggest whaling state in the 1800s, and they honored that history and the modern-day plight of the sperm whale (probably related to all that whaling) in 1975.
Plenty of states have horses as a mascot or symbol, but what state is all about that rodeo life?
This striking orange and black bird is both a state bird and a major MLB mascot.
Technically, it’s not just the oriole that’s the state bird of Maryland, it’s the Baltimore oriole. The Baltimore oriole was named the state bird in 1947, and it has special preservation protections in Maryland.
If we told you what rocky terrain the bighorn sheep prefers to live in, we’d totally just give ewe the answer to what state has this as its official state animal.
It’s Colorado. And technically, this is the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. They are only found in the Rockies.
Dogs are man’s best friend, but they’re also amazing hunters. What state honored the American foxhound’s hunting ability by making it their official dog?
George Washington himself reportedly imported foxhounds into Virginia for hunting. The state celebrated this history by designating this pup with the title of state dog in 1966.
Which state was once covered by a sea that was filled with coral colonies, leading to plentiful amounts of this fossil?
Michigan may be the Great Lakes State right now, but it used to be completely waterlogged, leading to the development of Petoskey stones. Technically made of fossilized coral, this was designated Michigan’s state rock in 1965.
If you can’t guess by the name of this fish what state chose it as its official fish, we can’t help you.
There’s nothing common about the horse in this state; it’s included on the state’s seal and flag.
Farming and horse racing may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to New Jersey, but the pastimes are quite popular there. A horse’s head also is represented on the state flag.
College sports are like a religion in this state, so what major university adopted the ram as its mascot?
Despite being named the Tar Heels, the University of North Carolina’s sports teams are represented by a ram. The animal has become a rallying symbol at UNC and in North Carolina.
This state once had the mockingbird as its state bird, but changed it to the wren in 1948.
South Carolina loves the wren (specifically the Carolina wren) so much, it’s featured prominently on their state quarter. Killing the Carolina wren in this state is a misdemeanor offense.
You can hear the cries of the common loon (which is a bird, not a local crazy person) across the many lakes in the state that named it the official bird in 1961.
After debating between several other birds such as the mourning dove, the goldfinch and the wood duck, Minnesota named the common loon as its state bird. It would’ve been loony for them not to!
This sunny state is surrounded by water, but this land mammal is its official state animal.
The panther was designated as Florida’s official state animal in 1982. The Florida panther used to prowl the state freely before Florida was colonized. They were hunted to near extinction and are now a highly endangered species.
If you call them crawfish or crawdads, then you are probably not from this state. They designated the crayfish as the state invertebrate in 2007.
This state is crazy about their maple syrup. The maple tree is on the state quarter, and the sugar maple is the official state tree.
Vermont knows it is well known for its lush forests. While the pine tree gets center stage on the state tree and flag, the sugar maple is actually the state tree.
This sturdy, fluffy dog has a strong body and thick coat, making it the perfect dog for what state?
Though the husky may be more associated with Alaska, the Alaskan malamute has more history in the state as a sled dog; it’s been in the area for over 4,000 years. The malamute’s contribution to Alaskan culture was rewarded in 2010 when it was named the official state dog.
Look in the background of one state’s official seal (and flag), and you’ll see a pair of Native Americans hunting buffalo. What is that state?
It’s Kansas. The American buffalo is also the national mammal of the entire United States.
This wild state isn’t wild about official animals, but wild horses are featured on its official state quarter. What big money state could it be?
Wild mustangs are featured on the back of the state quarter of Nevada, and we like to think it’s fitting as a state mascot because of all the wild betting going on in Las Vegas and the wild, unexplored desert.
Meep, meep! What state honored the roadrunner, also known as the chaparral bird, in 1949 by making it the official bird?
New Mexico loves the roadrunner so much, it also uses a cartoon version of this speedy bird in anti-litter campaigns across the state.
"Mountaineers Are Always Free" is what state’s motto?
It’s wild and wonderful West Virginia, of course. Mountaineers also represent West Virginia University and are represented on the state flag.
A sturdy, strong and courageous dog, which state’s founder had a Great Dane?
William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania had a Great Dane. A portrait of the man, along with his friendly companion, hangs in the state capitol in Harrisburg. The Great Dane was named the state dog of Pennsylvania in 1965.
In 2004, an online contest was held between the gray tree frog, American toad and eastern tiger salamander to become what state’s official amphibian?
In the same bill, Illinois also named the painted turtle as the official state reptile. The eastern tiger salamander can be found all across the state.
Though it’s been extinct for almost 100 years, the golden grizzly bear is featured heavily on the flag of what state?
California! The California grizzly bear thrived in the state before the state’s gold rush hit. Then, they were hunted down and killed into extinction because they would not back down from humans. The last California grizzly bear was killed in 1922, 30 years before it was made the state animal.
This state’s nickname is the Pelican State, so it’s only natural that the brown pelican would be its state bird.
Louisiana’s state flag and nickname both heavily feature this majestic bird. However, the brown pelican wasn’t designated Louisiana’s state bird until 1966.
This one isn’t so much a mascot, but the peach is the most iconic food from this Southern state.
This state isn’t one for many official symbols or mascots, but the mighty bison roams its biggest state park.
Not many states have an actually official mascot, but what Southern state made the eastern tiger swallowtail its official butterfly and mascot?
The monarch butterfly is the official state insect of Alabama, but the eastern tiger swallowtail won out as the official state mascot.
Thoroughbred horses are the only breed allowed to run in “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,” which takes place in what state?
This striking bird is prominently featured on one state’s quarter, but what quarter is it?
The majestic ring-necked pheasant is the official state bird of South Dakota and soars over Mount Rushmore on the state quarter. South Dakota is a long way from China, though, so what gives? Pheasants are originally native to Asia but were introduced to North America in the 18th century.
A lobster roll is the signature dish in this New England state, so obviously the lobster is their state crustacean.
What state is so wild about the beaver that its nickname is the Beaver State?
Oregon loves the beaver so much that not only is it the state animal and nickname, a beaver is also featured on the back of the state flag.
The turkey was nearly the national bird of the United States, but which original colony honored the wild turkey by making it the state game bird?
This state loves the beautiful, delicate magnolia. Its nickname is the Magnolia State, the state tree is the magnolia tree and the magnolia is featured on the state quarter.
Mississippi is wild about this plant. The magnolia was named the state flower in 1900. The magnolia tree, however, wasn’t named the state tree until 1952.
There are a lot of marine mammals in this coastal state, but only the harbor seal reliably sticks around. What state is it?
Rhode Island may be very, very small, but it has over 30 species of sea mammals in its waters. But none is as true a resident as the harbor seal, which was named the state marine mammal in 2016.
The Revolutionary War soldiers of this colony were compared to fighting cocks, leading to this bird being the official state bird. What state is it?
Delaware recognized its role as the first state to join the Union and its contribution to the Revolutionary War in 1939 by making the blue hen chicken the official state bird.
The chinook, a happy sled dog, originated in the chilly Northeast. Which state rewarded the breed by making it the official state dog?
The chinook is one of the few dog breeds originally from America, and it was specifically bred and created in New Hampshire. It was made the state dog in 2009.
The cardinal is a stunning, bright red bird found across the Midwest. What state made it the official state bird in 1933?
While Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia have all named the cardinal their official state bird, Indiana is the state we were thinking of. But any of those guesses would technically be correct.
Fishing is a major industry in what West Coast state, which named the steelhead trout as an official state symbol in 1969?
Known for its massive fishing industry, recreational fishing and fish markets, Washington state is all about the fish. But the official fish of this state is this trout.
What state has turquoise that is so stunning and so world-famous that it named this semi-precious stone the state gem in 1974?
Indeed, Arizona has some of the finest, blue-green turquoise in the world. In fact, most of the world’s best turquoise comes from the American Southwest.
What state is the only state to have an official raptor, the peregrine falcon?
Idaho made the peregrine falcon its official state raptor in 2004. The state loves this clawed bird so much, it’s also featured on the state quarter.
The white-tailed deer lobby worked overtime to get this animal designated as a mascot in 11 states, but can you guess what state made it the official state mammal in 1981?
It was Nebraska! But if you guessed Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, or Wisconsin, that’s OK too. It’s a symbol in those 10 states as well.
Lady Liberty may be one of the many symbols of the United States and of freedom, but what state has this statue on their official quarter?