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How Much Do You Know About Official State Symbols? (Quiz)

Lauren studied International Cultural Studies at BYU-Hawaii and went on to study nutrition. Macaroni and cheese is her weakness.

Are you an expert on the states? Use this quiz to test your knowledge!

Are you an expert on the states? Use this quiz to test your knowledge!

From state flowers to state snack foods, there is a myriad of official items and symbols characterizing the different states of the union. The practice of assigning various things to each state purportedly began in 1893, when the creators of the National Garland of Flowers for the World’s Fair in Chicago requested a flower to represent each state. Thus, the defining of states by symbol and insignia commenced.

As time has progressed, states have added official trees, birds, animals, sports, foods, and other indicators to set their territories apart and engender state pride. Take the quiz below to see how well you know your state symbols or to learn a little trivia about the United States.

State Symbols Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. The forget-me-not is the official flower of which state?
    • Rhode Island
    • Indiana
    • Alaska
    • Iowa
  2. What is the official bird of South Dakota?
    • Brown pelican
    • Common loon
    • Mountain bluebird
    • Ring-necked pheasant
  3. Jell-O is the official snack food of which state?
    • Utah
    • Wisconsin
    • North Carolina
    • Florida
  4. The pecan is the official nut of which state?
    • California
    • Alabama
    • Arkansas
    • All of the above
  5. "Live free or die" is the motto of which state?
    • Texas
    • Washington
    • Oklahoma
    • New Hampshire
  6. Which two states currently have official state mushrooms?
    • Delaware and Michigan
    • Washington and Ohio
    • Oregon and Minnesota
    • Mississippi and Vermont
  7. What is the state flower of Texas?
    • Violet
    • Peony
    • Bluebonnet
    • Columbine
  8. The roadrunner is the official bird of which state?
    • Nevada
    • Arizona
    • New Mexico
    • California
  9. What is Georgia’s official state prepared food?
    • Grits
    • Macaroni and cheese
    • Biscuits and gravy
    • Chicken nuggets
  10. What is the official dance of Kentucky?
    • Waltz
    • Clogging
    • Square dance
    • Maypole dance
  11. What is the official state sport of Colorado?
    • Ice hockey
    • Beer pong
    • Pack burro racing
    • Mountain boarding
  12. The Triceratops is the official dinosaur of which state?
    • Iowa
    • New Jersey
    • Connecticut
    • Wyoming
  13. The candlenut tree is the official tree of which state?
    • Alabama
    • Delaware
    • Hawai'i
    • Kansas
  14. What is the state motto of Maryland?
    • "Manly deeds, womanly words."
    • "Ever upward."
    • "Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law."
    • "Mountaineers are always free."
  15. The polka is the official dance of which state?
    • Massachusetts
    • Wisconsin
    • Nebraska
    • North Dakota

Answer Key

  1. Alaska
  2. Ring-necked pheasant
  3. Utah
  4. All of the above
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Oregon and Minnesota
  7. Bluebonnet
  8. New Mexico
  9. Grits
  10. Clogging
  11. Pack burro racing
  12. Wyoming
  13. Hawai'i
  14. "Manly deeds, womanly words."
  15. Wisconsin

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 4 correct answers: Good try. Perhaps it's time to dust off your geography books or peruse some state websites in case you ever come across a random quiz like this again.

If you got between 5 and 9 correct answers: Nicely done. While you might want to brush up on a few official state symbols, you’re pretty proficient when it comes to knowing (or guessing) your states trivia. 

If you got between 10 and 12 correct answers: Excellent! You are a US symbol trivia star, a title that you might want to consider adding to your resume.

If you got 13 correct answers: Excellent! You are a US symbol trivia star, a title that you might want to consider adding to your resume.

If you got between 14 and 15 correct answers: Excellent! You are a US symbol trivia star, a title that you might want to consider adding to your resume.

Here is the quiz in question-and-answer format, so you can use it as a basis for planning your own trivia quiz.

1. The forget-me-not is the official flower of which state?

  • Rhode Island
  • Indiana
  • Alaska
  • Iowa

2. What is the official bird of South Dakota?

  • Brown pelican
  • Common loon
  • Mountain bluebird
  • Ring-necked pheasant

3. Jell-O is the official snack food of which state?

  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • North Carolina
  • Florida

4. The pecan is the official nut of which state?

  • California
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • All of the above

5. "Live free or die" is the motto of which state?

  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Oklahoma
  • New Hampshire

6. Which two states currently have official state mushrooms?

  • Delaware and Michigan
  • Washington and Ohio
  • Oregon and Minnesota
  • Mississippi and Vermont

7. What is the state flower of Texas?

  • Violet
  • Peony
  • Bluebonnet
  • Columbine

8. The roadrunner is the official bird of which state?

  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • California

9. What is Georgia's official state prepared food?

  • Grits
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Biscuits and gravy
  • Chicken nuggets

10. What is the official dance of Kentucky?

  • Waltz
  • Clogging
  • Square dance
  • Maypole dance

11. What is the official state sport of Colorado?

  • Ice hockey
  • Beer pong
  • Pack burro racing
  • Mountain boarding

12. The Triceratops is the official dinosaur of which state?

  • Iowa
  • New Jersey
  • Connecticut
  • Wyoming

13. The candlenut tree is the official tree of which state?

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Hawai'i
  • Kansas

14. What is the state motto of Maryland?

  • "Manly deeds, womanly words."
  • "Ever upward."
  • "Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law."
  • "Mountaineers are always free."

15. The polka is the official dance of which state?

  • Massachusetts
  • Wisconsin
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota

Other Interesting State Trivia

Foods

It seems official foods are a big deal in a lot of areas, as many states have multiple items that fall under this category. You have your standard state fruits and vegetables, nuts and snacks, but some of these are a little more creative.

  • Vermont has a state flavor (maple).
  • Rhode Island has a state appetizer (calamari).
  • Massachusetts and New York have state muffins (corn and apple, respectively).
  • Wisconsin has a state dairy product (cheese).
  • Louisiana has a state cuisine (gumbo).

But Oklahoma takes the cake with an official state meal. This spread consists of chicken-fried steak, barbecued pork, fried okra, squash, cornbread, grits, corn, sausage and biscuits with gravy, black-eyed peas, strawberries and pecan pie.

Cheese is the official dairy product of Wisconsin.

Cheese is the official dairy product of Wisconsin.

Mammals

Almost half of the United States have designated official mammals. Popular choices among these states include bears, whales and deer, but some mammals of note are:

  • the moose (Alaska),
  • the manatee (Florida)
  • and the nine-banded armadillo (Texas).

Insects

There are 45 states with official insects. For many of these states, a type of butterfly is their insect of choice. Various honeybees and ladybugs also have a strong showing. Alaska and Washington’s official insects are dragonflies, and the official insects for Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Indiana are fireflies. Rhode Island’s official insect is the American Burying Beetle.

Alaska's state mammal is the moose.

Alaska's state mammal is the moose.

Sports

Only about a dozen states have chosen official sports, but a few of them are quite intriguing. Dog mushing is the official sport of Alaska, while California and Hawai’i have designated surfing as their defining sports. Hawai’i also has outrigger canoe paddling as an official sport. The two official sports of the state of Maryland are lacrosse and jousting.

Musical Instruments

There are only a few states with official musical instruments. Of these, most have selected the fiddle, although Kentucky has designated the Appalachian Dulcimer, and the state instrument of Louisiana is the Cajun Accordion.

Toys

Kansas and Mississippi are the only states with official toys, but others may soon follow suit. The Etch-A-Sketch is the official toy of Kansas, and Mississippi’s is the teddy bear.

Surfing is the official sport of California and Hawai'i.

Surfing is the official sport of California and Hawai'i.

© 2018 Lauren Flauding