All of Colorado’s Official State Symbols, Plants & Animals
We all know that Colorado is generally associated with things like the Rocky Mountains, the Denver Broncos, and, uh, weed.
However, Colorado also has a series of designated state symbols. According to State Symbols USA, a state's official symbols "represent the cultural heritage and national treasures of each state or the entire USA."
In order to become official, a state symbol must be identified and thoroughly researched by organizations or citizens. Then, a request for a bill is made — if passed, the state gains another official symbol.
From amphibians to trees, here are the official symbols of Colorado:
State Amphibian - Western (Barred) Tiger Salamander
This little guy became our state amphibian in 2012 because they are found in the western U.S. in arid or forested areas. We share it with Kansas and Illinois.
State Animal - Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
It's no surprise that Colorado State University's mascot became our state animal in 1961. Take that Buffaloes.
State Bird - Lark Bunting
This spunky fellow became our state bird in 1931. Male lark buntings are known for their distinctive song — listen above.
State Cactus - Claret Cup Cactus
Claret Cup became our state cactus in 2014 thanks to the efforts of Girl Scout Troop 2518 from Castle Rock.
State Fish - Greenback Cutthroat Trout
This fish is native to Colorado's rivers and streams and became our state fish in 1994. It is currently threatened due to pollution and non-native species.
State Flower - Rocky Mountain Columbine
The flower was discovered on Pike's Peak in 1820 and became the official state flower in 1899 after Colorado's school children voted for it.
State Folk Dance - Square Dance
Yup, this is a thing. We joined 21 other states in making this our official dance in 1992.
State Fossil - Stegosaurus
The very first Stegosaurus fossil was found in Colorado in 1876. It became our official state fossil in 1982.
State Gemstone - Aquamarine
Some of the finest aquamarines is found in Colorado's White Mountain and Mount Antero. It became our state gemstone in 1971.
State Insect - Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly
This butterfly became our state bug in 1996, thanks to a class of 4th graders from Aurora. It is native to elevations up to 7,500 feet.
State Motto - Nil sine Numine
Our Latin state motto is commonly translated as "nothing without providence," but a government committee specified that it was intended to mean "nothing without the Deity."
State Reptile - Western Painted Turtle
More 4th graders to the rescue — elementary school students made this the state reptile in 2008.
State Rock - Yule Marble
Colorado's first yule marble quarry was established in 1906. The stone became our state rock in 2004, thanks to Girl Scout Troop 357.
State Song - Rocky Mountain High by John Denver
The Colorado anthem became our second state song in 2007. Our first state song is "Where the Columbines Grow" by A.J. Flynn.
State Tree - Colorado Blue Spruce
This pine tree became our official tree in 1939. It was first discovered on Pike's Peak in 1862 by C.C. Parry.
To find other official Colorado state symbols (yes, there's more), visit here. Now, consider yourself a true educated Coloradan.