ILLINOIS SYMBOLS

Amphibian: Eastern Tiger Salamander

Animal: White-Tailed Deer

Bird: Cardinal
In 1928, Illinois schoolchildren selected the Cardinal as the State Bird of Illinois. The General Assembly made that designation official in 1929.

Dance: Square Dance
The Square Dance was designated as the official state dance in 1990.

Fish: Bluegill

Flag History: The bald eagle represents the United States. In its beak it holds a streamer with the state motto on it. The state motto means that Illinois governs itself under the government of the United States. In the eagle’s claws is a shield with thirteen bars and thirteen stars, this represents the first thirteen states. The two dates on the boulder are the dates of Statehood and of the State Seal. The ground around it symbolizes the state’s rich prairie soil.

Flower: Purple Violet

Fossil: Tully Monster

Insect: Monarch Butterfly

Mineral: Fluorite

Motto: State sovereignty, national union

Nickname: Prairie State

Origin of state’s name: Algonquin Indian for “tribe of superior men”

Prairie Grass: Big Bluestem
In 1989 the Big Bluestem became the state prairie grass. The General Assembly adopted this designation following a poll of students conducted by the Illinois Department of Conservation.

Reptile: Painted Turtle
In 2004 Illinois citizens voted to select the Eastern Tiger Salamander and the Painted Turtle as the state amphibian and reptile. In 2005 the vote was made official by the General Assembly.

Seal: The Great Seal

Slogan: “Land of Lincoln” The slogan was adopted by the General Assembly in 1955. The State of Illinois has a copyright for the exclusive use of the slogan.

Song: “Illinois” lyrics by: Charles H. Chamberlin music by: Archibald Johnston

Tree: White Oak
In 1907, Illinois schoolchildren voted to select the state tree and the state flower. They selected the Native Oak and the Violet. The General Assembly approved a bill to make these selections official in 1908.