Michigan State Symbols

On Jan. 26, Michigan celebrates its 182nd birthday!
To mark the occasion, here are some fun facts unique to our great state.


Fun facts

The name Michigan is derived from the Ojibwa word meicigama, meaning “great water.”

Although traditionally nicknamed the “Wolverine State,” Michigan is more commonly known as the “Great Lakes State.”

Michigan’s state motto, “Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice,” means, "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."

State symbols

State flower: apple blossom
When it was designated the state flower 1897, the Pyrus coronary – which blooms on the apple tree – was noted as “one of the most fragrant and beautiful species of apple.”

State bird: American Robin
The American robin, which has been called “best-known and best-loved” of all Michigan birds, was named the state bird in 1931.

State tree: white pine
State tree since 1955, the white pine symbolizes Michigan’s rich logging history. Our state led the nation in lumber production from the 1860s to the late 1890s.

State stone: Petoskey stone
The Petoskey stone, designated the state stone in 1965, is the fossilized remains of coral that existed in the northern Lower Peninsula about 350 million years ago.

State gem: chlorastrolite
Known as the Isle Royale greenstone and found mainly in the Upper Peninsula, chlorastrolite – meaning “green star stone” – has been our state gem since 1972.

State fish: brook trout
The brook trout, native to Michigan and found throughout the state, was named the state fish in 1988.

State soil: Kalkaska soil series
One of the earliest soil series recognized in Michigan – first described in 1927 in Kalkaska County – the Kalkaska series became our state soil in 1990.

State reptile: painted turtle
The painted turtle, designated the state reptile in 1995 due to the efforts of some fifth-grade students, has colorful markings that allow it to blend into its environment.

State game mammal: white-tailed deer
A group of fourth-graders worked to get the white-tailed deer named the state game mammal in 1997.

State wildflower: dwarf lake iris
A rare and threatened species found along the northern shorelines of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, the dwarf lake iris became the official state wildflower in 1998.

State fossil: mastodon
The mastodon, an extinct relative of the elephant that roamed Michigan 10,000 years ago, has been our state fossil since 2002.

Learn more about Michigan’s state symbols and history at seekingmichigan.org.

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