Florida State Symbols, Emblems, and Mascots
Florida Symbols, Florida Emblems, and Florida Mascots
Browse the state's symbols; state animal, state bird, state flower, state flag, state fossil, state insect, state motto, state seal, state tree, color, dance, fish, mammal, music, nut, reptile seal, and miscellaneous designations, emblems, and mascot of each state with pictures. Find origin of the state name. View the state almanacs, state timelines and peruse state facts and stats such as the capitol, location, and date admitted to the union.
Florida Symbols, Emblems, and Mascots
|Animal||Florida Panther (Felis concolor coryi) 1982|
|Band||The St. Johns River City Band, 1990
Band of top professional musicians. St. John's River City Band is Jacksonville's official band and the official band of the State of Florida, and appearing at Carnegie Hall, Disney World's EPCOT Center, Ruth Eckerd Hall and Jacksonville's Metropolitan Park.
|Beverage||Orange Juice, 1967
Seldom does the mere mention of a beverage bring to mind a state. However, whenever "orange juice" is seen, written, or spoken, the universal connection is Florida. Technically, the state beverage is "The juice obtained from mature oranges of the species Citrus sinesis and hybrids thereof . . .," but the world knows it as just plain orange juice.
During the Second World War, concentrated juice was developed . . . followed by a frozen concentrate that transformed orange juice production into a multi-billion dollar industry.
|Bird||Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) 1927|
|Butterfly||Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitonius) 1996
The zebra longwing is commonly spotted in south Florida, especially in the hammocks and thickets of Everglades National Park. The longwing however, is not so common in northern part of the state. The zebra longwing roosts in a flock with its kin. The longwing sleeps so soundly that you can literally pick it off its roost and return it later, without waking any of the rest of its family. The longwing is so comfortable with its perch, it also faithfully returns to the same perch every night. During the day her flight is slow, feeble, and wafting, but she can quickly dart to shelter if threatened or approached.
This black and yellow butterfly has been a loved native of Florida and is known for dining on the sweet nectar of passion flowers. It has been a long crawl for the insect kingdom to receive an honorary position in Florida, with the praying mantis having lost as the last bid for state insect in 1972.
|Contest - Fiddle||Florida State Fiddlers' Association in cooperation with the Department of State at the Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center, White Springs, Florida,|
|Day||April 2, 1953
April 2 was designated by the 1953 legislature as State Day because Ponce de León first sighted Florida about that date in 1513. The designation by lawmakers was at the suggestion of Mary A. Harrell, a teacher of Social Studies in the John Gorrie Junior High School of Jacksonville.
|Fair - Air||Central Florida Air Fair, 1976
It is no longer in operations.
|Festival||Calle Ocho Open House, 2000
The festival "Calle Ocho-Open House 8," a Florida historical festival presented annually by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana and the Hispanic citizens of Dade County.
Calle Ocho (Spanish for 8th Street) is the single largest celebration of Hispanic culture in the United States. El Festival de la Ocho, as commonly known to many, closes down S.W. 8th Street (the most popular street in Little Havana), from 27th to 4th Avenues to span twenty-three city blocks. It is the world's largest street party filled with musical stages, youth sites, folkloric sites and food vendors.
|Festival - Renaissance||Italian Renaissance Festival, Vizcaya presented by Renaissance Historical Society of Florida, Inc.|
|Fiddle Contest||Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center, 1989
Florida State Fiddlers' Association in cooperation with the Department of State at the Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center, White Springs, Florida.
|Fish, Fresh Water||Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) 1975|
|Atlantic Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) 1975
Sailfish are not peculiar to Florida; they are found nearly everywhere there is warm ocean water. However, Florida sailfishing is legendary, especially in the Ft. Pierce, Miami and Keys areas during colder months. Sailfish migrate southward as the weather chills in the north. The sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) resembles a torpedo when swimming, and can reach speeds of 60 mph. Average size and weight taken from Florida waters is 7' and 27 pounds. Author Ernest Hemingway landed a 9'1" sailfish in 1934 off Key West. Naturally, with its colorful and characteristic sail, the specimen frequently ends up on a den wall. The Florida Department of Natural Resources reports, however, that in the 25-year period ending in 1975, more than 14,000 sailfish were tagged and released. Sailfish-mania in Florida is evidenced by the increasing number of sailfish tournaments each year in this state.
A female sailfish releases several million eggs each year. Growth of the fish is rapid; a fertilized egg hatches within a day and a half, and by the end of the first year of life, a fish may have attained 6' in length. Experts believe the fish has a life span of up to ten years, but most are thought to live only 3 or 4 years.
|Flower||Orange Blossom, November 15, 1909|
|Flower - Wild||Coreopsis, 1991
The flower of the genus Coreopsis was designated as Florida's official wildflower. The state legislature made this designation after the colorful flowers were used extensively in Florida's roadside plantings and highway beautification programs. The coreopsis is found in a variety of colors, ranging from golden to pink.
|Hall of Fame, Sports||The Florida Sports Hall of Fame Lake City, Columbia County, 1988|
|Litter Control Symbol||Keep Florida Beautiful, Incorporated, service mark, 1978|
Whatever the name - Sea Cow, Big Beaver, Mermaid or "Furnished with Hands"- the main place the hulking manatee is found in the United States is Florida. The State Marine Mammal is an 8'-14' gray, waterplant-eating, gentle giant that can weigh more than a ton.
Manatee may have developed from the Hatian word "manati," which means "big beaver." Although appropriate in its description of this docile, slow-moving mammal, the more likely derivation of the name comes from the Latin "manatus" - meaning "furnished with hands." The manatee's flippers can appear almost hand-like from a distance. That observation plus the presence of a tail perhaps fostered the legend that manatees were "mermaids." Coincidentally, the order to which the manatee belongs is called Sirenia - meaning siren or mermaid. The manatee is on the endangered species list, but chances for its survival are good if man's activities can be controlled. Of all the known causes of manatee mortality, man is responsible for about half of the deaths. The single greatest-known cause of mortality is boats and barges. To a manatee, a speeding boat is more hazardous than disease, weather, poachers, or alligators, for its propeller blades can cut a manatee's thick hide to ribbons.
Some relief has been forthcoming, however, since the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978 and subsequent regulations from the Governor and Cabinet have limited the speed of boats in the waters populated by the species during winter months when upwards of 1,500 manatees must inhabit warm bays and rivers to avoid pneumonia and death.
Is it a porpoise or a dolphin? The age-old question always sparks controversy. Even the 1975 Florida Legislature, adopting the species as the official Saltwater Mammal, left the issue open, designating the "porpoise, also commonly known as the dolphin."
The porpoise, along with dolphin and the whale, all belong to the mammalian order Cetacea. Porpoise and dolphin are members of different families, but there is no sharp scientific distinction between them. The porpoise is generally smaller and does not possess the characteristic 3" bottle-nose of the dolphin. The playful porpoise is gray or black with a slightly lighter underside. It can live to the age of 30, occasionally attaining a length of 12', although most are in the 6'-8' range.
A system of echolocation - much like sonar - directs them in their travels. Porpoises have no sense of smell. Keen eyesight, remarkable hearing, and a wide variety of sounds (barks, clicks and whistles) make the porpoise an especially interesting subject to study. Test have determined the intelligence level of porpoises to be between that of a dog and that of the highest-known intellect in the nonhuman animal world, the chimpanzee. Some even place the porpoise above the chimp!
Historically, sailors have taken the presence of porpoises near their boats as a sign of good luck.
|Motto||In God We Trust, 1868|
|Museum - Railroad||The Orange Blossom Special Railroad Museum, West Palm Beach; The Gold Coast Railroad Museum, Inc., and Gold Coast Railroad, Inc.; The Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museum, Inc., Tampa.|
|The Florida Museum of Transportation and History, Fernandina Beach|
|Opera Program||The Greater Miami Opera Association; the Orlando Opera Company, Incorporated; and the Florida State University School of Music, 1983|
|Pageant||Indian River, Brevard County,|
|Play||"Cross and Sword," 1973
by Paul Green
Tells the story of the Spanish colonization of the nation's first city, St. Augustine. It is presented at that city's amphitheater each night except Sunday throughout the summer months.
The pageant, written by Paul Green, features lavish costumes, dramatic lighting, and stirring music. It entwines the lives of some of Florida's earliest heroes - Pedro Menendez, Jean Ribault, and Father Lopez.
|Reptile||American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) 1987
Long an unofficial symbol of the state, the alligator originally symbolized Florida's extensive untamed wilderness and swamps.
Alligators are found throughout Florida and in parts of other southeastern states. They prefer lakes, swamps, canals, and other wetland habitats. They eat fish, turtles, and a variety of other animals. In late June and early July, female alligators usually lay thirty to fifty eggs in mound-shaped nests made of reeds and other vegetation. Baby alligators hatch after an incubation period of about two months. When hatched, alligators are already fully developed and about eight inches long. Mature alligators usually range from six to twelve feet in length, with females rarely exceeding nine feet.
Because alligators are cold-blooded, we often see them sunning on logs or on banks near water. Gators can move surprisingly fast over short distances, and their powerful jaws and swinging tails make them dangerous to approach. Female alligators are particularly aggressive when guarding their nests. Alligators should not be fed, since this causes them to lose their fear of humans, and feeding is against Florida statutes.
Today, the alligator is no longer on the endangered-species list, because the reptile has successfully repopulated itself after having been over-exploited by illegal hide hunters. Alligators are now under controlled management by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission to preserve the species and the wetland habitats that they and other Florida wildlife inhabit.
|Rodeo||Silver Spurs Rodeo (Osceola County)|
|Seal||Great Seal, 1868, 1995|
|Shell||Horse Conch (Pleuroploca gigantea) 1969
Pleuroploca gigantea, the horse conch, also known as the giant band shell. This shell is native to the marine waters around Florida and can grow to a length of 24". Young shells have orange color; adult shells have orange apertures. The shell is the external skeleton of a soft-bodied animal that inhabits it.
At least 535 million years ago, mollusks acquired the habit of secreting a carbonate of lime solution that immediately forms a protective shell with the consistency of marble. The word "conch" comes from the Greek word meaning "shell."
|Soil||Myakka Fine Sand (hyperthermic Aeric Haplaquods) 1989
Myakka soil, which is unique to Florida, occurs in more than 1.5 million acres of flatwoods, making it the single most extensive soil in the state. Soil conservation is very important in Florida, where agriculture is a significant industry.
|"Swanee River" (The Old Folks at Home) May 25 1935
By Stephen C. Foster
|Welcome Song||"Florida" 1985
by Lawrence Hurwit and Isreal Abrams
|The Louis Wolfson II Media History Center, Inc.,Miami, 1989|
|Stone||Agatized Coral, 1979|
|Tree||Cabbage Palm (Sabal Palmetto Palm) 1953|
Completing your high school degree is the first step to getting into the career of your dreams.
Earn your degree, advance your career, secure your future – all online. University of Phoenix is a true innovator in distance education. Their Business, Technology, Criminal Justice, Nursing, and Education degree programs are designed specifically for busy professionals. Imagine earning the degree you've always wanted – from home, at work, or while traveling.
Experience a Grand Vacation. Hilton Grand Vacation Clubs offers incredible vacation getaways to Orlando, Las Vegas and Waikiki Beach starting at $50 per night.
Hurry—Switch to DISH Network for just $19.99 and you’ll get free installation, , 2 free HDTV receivers and free equipment for up to 4 rooms. No
contract commitment required. Offer ends soon.
Click for details.