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List of New York state symbols facts for kids

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New York in United States
The location of the state of New York in the United States of America

This is a list of symbols of the state of New York in the United States. The majority of the state symbols are officially listed in the New York Consolidated Laws in Article 6, Sections 70 through 87. The symbols are recognized by these laws and were signed into law by the governor of New York.

The oldest symbols, the state flag and the state arms, were adopted in 1778, and the most recent additions to the list, the snapping turtle and lilac bush, were added in 2006. The origin of the state motto dates back to 1784. During a tour of the state's harbors, waterways, and fertile interior, George Washington referred to New York as the "Seat of Empire". The term "The Big Apple" was coined by jazz musicians of the 1930s who used the slang expression "apple" when referring to any city.

The state insect took nine years to become official. In 1980, fifth grader Kristina Savoca sent a letter - along with a petition bearing 152 signatures - to New York State Assemblyman Robert C. Wertz, urging him to introduce legislation designating the lady beetle as the official state insect. The proposal languished for a number of years, passing in the Assembly but not being considered in the Senate. Approval finally came in 1989, after Cornell University entomologists suggested that Wertz propose the nine-spotted lady beetle (Coccinella novemnotata, sometimes abbreviated to C-9) as the state insect because it was a native lady beetle.

Type Symbol Year Image
Flag Flag of New York 1778 New York flag
Seal Seal of New York 1778 New York State Seal
Coat of arms The Coat of Arms of New York
Motto Excelsior (Ever upward) 1784
Nickname The Empire State 1784
Slogan "I Love New York" (official) 1977 I Love New York

Flora and fauna

Type Symbol Year Image
Butterfly Red-spotted purple/white admiral
Limenitis arthemis
2008 Red-spotted purple/white admiral
Bird Eastern bluebird
Sialia sialis
1970 The Eastern bluebird
Dog Working dog 2015 Working dog
Mammal North American beaver
Castor canadensis
1975 Beaver
Reptile Snapping turtle
Chelydra serpentina
2006 Snapping turtle
Freshwater fish Brook trout
Salvelinus fontinalis
1975 Brook trout
Salt water fish Striped bass
Morone saxatilis
2006 Striped bass
Insect Nine-spotted ladybug
Coccinella novemnotata
1989 Coccinella novemnotata 1.jpg
Tree Sugar maple
Acer saccharum
1956 Sugar maple
Bush Lilac bush
Syringa vulgaris
2006 Lilac bush
Flower Rose 1955 Rose


Type Symbol Year Image
Gemstone Garnet 1969 Garnet
Fossil Sea scorpion
Eurypterus remipes
1984 Eurypterus remipes
Shell Scallop
Argopecten irradians
1988 Bay Scallop


Type Symbol Year Image
Beverage Milk 1981 Milk
Fruit Apple 1976 Apples
Muffin Apple muffin 1987 Muffins
Snack Yogurt 2014 Yogurt
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List of New York state symbols Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.