List of Delaware state symbols

The following Delaware state symbols have been approved by the Delaware General Assembly and added to the Delaware Code:

Location of the state of Delaware in the United States of America
Colors Colonial Blue and Buff


Motto Liberty and Independence
Song Our Delaware
Bird Blue Hen Chicken
Tree American Holly
Flower Peach Blossom
Bug Lady Bug
Mineral Sillimanite
Fish Weakfish
Beverage Milk
Herb Sweet goldenrod
Fossil Belemnite
Butterfly Tiger swallowtail
Soil Greenwich Loam
Dessert Peach Pie
Star Delaware Diamond
Marine Animal Horseshoe crab
Macroinvertebrate Stonefly


Seal of Delaware.svg

The seal of Delaware was first adopted on January 17, 1777, with the current version being adopted April 29, 2004. It contains the state coat of arms surrounded by the inscription "Great Seal of the State of Delaware" and the dates 1704, 1776 and 1787.[1]


Flag of Delaware.svg

The flag of Delaware was first adopted on July 24, 1913. It consists of a buff-colored diamond on a field of colonial blue, with the coat of arms of the state of Delaware inside the diamond. Below the diamond, the date December 7, 1787, declares the day on which Delaware became the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. The colors of the flag reflect the colors of the uniform of General George Washington.[2]


"Liberty and Independence" was approved in 1847, and derived from the Order of Cincinnati.


"Our Delaware" was first adopted in 1925. It is a poem containing three verses written by George B. Hynson, a fourth verse written by Donn Devine, and a musical score composed by Will M. S. Brown.[3]


The First State

This nickname was officially adopted on May 23, 2002, to commemorate the fact that on December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first of the 13 original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution.[4]

The Diamond State

This nickname comes from the legend that Thomas Jefferson described Delaware as a jewel among states due to its strategic location on the Eastern Seaboard.


Blue Hen State

This nickname comes from the fighting Blue Hen Cocks that were carried with soldiers for entertainment during the Revolutionary War.

Small Wonder

This nickname comes from substantial contributions Delaware has made as compared to its relatively small size.


The Blue Hen Chicken was officially adopted on April 14, 1939, having been used as many political campaigns and publications.[5]

Americanholly 8046.JPG


The American Holly (Ilex opaca Aiton) was officially adopted May 1, 1939, regarded as one of Delaware's most important forest trees.[6]

Peach flowers.jpg


The Peach Blossom was officially adopted on May 9, 1895, in recognition of peach tree orchards yielding thousands of dollars worth of crop worth at that time.[7]



The Lady Bug was officially adopted April 25, 1974, at the suggestion of Mollie Brown-Rust's 2nd grade class at the Lulu M. Ross Elementary School in Milford, Delaware.[8]



Sillimanite was recognized by geologists in Delaware prior to 1830, is widespread throughout the schists of the Delaware Piedmont, and occurs as large masses and steam-rounded boulders at the Brandywine Springs State Park.[9]


The Weakfish was officially adopted in 1981 in recognition of its values as a game and food fish.[10]


Milk was officially adopted on June 3, 1983.[11]

Solidago odora01.jpg


Sweet goldenrod (Solidago odora) was officially adopted June 24, 1996, as indigenous to the state, commonly found in coastal areas and along the edges of marshes and thickets.[12]



Belemnite was officially adopted on July 2, 1996, at the suggestion Kathy Tidball's third grade Quest students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington, Delaware. The fossil, an extinct squid with a conical shell, is commonly found along the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.[13]

Pristine Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.jpg


The Eastern tiger swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus) was officially adopted on June 10, 1999, as indigenous to Delaware and commonly found in deciduous woods, along streams, rivers, and wooded swamps, and in towns and cities throughout Delaware. They were chosen based on a statewide vote of public and parochial students, out of suggestions from students of the Richardson Park Learning Center.[14]


Greenwich Loam was officially adopted on April 20, 2000, as commonly found in all counties in Delaware and enhancing water quality, agriculture, wildlife habitat, and natural landscape beauty.[15]


The Delaware Diamond (coordinates of right ascension 9h40m44s and declination 48°14’2”) was officially adopted on June 30, 2000, as a star of the 12th magnitude and the first star on the International Star Registry ever to be registered to an American State. It was chosen in a 1999 Delaware Museum of Natural History contest by Amy Nerlinger of Wilmington.[16]

Horseshoe crab underside.jpg

Marine Animal

The Horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) was officially adopted on June 25, 2002, in recognition its importance and value in the medical field and as the principal food source for over a million shore birds.[17]



The Stonefly (Order Plecoptera) was officially adopted on May 4, 2005, in recognition of the importance of excellent water quality and the vital role played by healthy aquatic ecosystems. It was supported by Gunning-Bedford Middle School, Salesianum High School, Delcastle Technical High School, Dickinson High School Environmental Club, The Independence School, Springer Middle School, St. Andrews School, and The Charter School of Wilmington.[18]

See also


External links

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