Maryland State Symbols, Emblems, and Mascots
Maryland Symbols, Maryland Emblems, and Maryland 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.
Maryland Symbols, Emblems, and Mascots
|Bird||Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) 1947|
Skipjacks are the last working boats under sail in the United States. In winter, fleets of skipjacks used to dredge oysters from the floor of Chesapeake Bay. "Drudgin," as watermen called this process, was hard, cold, dirty, sometimes dangerous work.
|Cat||Calico Cat, 2001
Calico is not a breed of cat, but an unusual coloring occurring across many breeds, including Domestic Short-hair, Persian, and Manx. Virtually all calico cats are female; a male calico is a genetic anomaly and usually sterile. Producing calico kittens through selective breeding also is nearly impossible due to unpredictable actions of genes and chromosomes when cells multiply in a feline fetus.
|Crustacean||Blue Crab, 1989
The blue crab's scientific name translates as "beautiful swimmer that is savory." Blue crab meat sometimes is compared to the sweetness of lobster meat; the flavor best appreciated by cracking and eating steamed hardshells or feasting on softshells. Crab is prepared in restaurant and home kitchens in innumerable ways, steamed or sauteed, as Maryland Crab Cakes and Crab Imperial, or in crab soup and crab dip.
|Dance - Folk||Square Dance, 1994|
|Dinosaur||Astrodon johnstoni, 1998
Astrodon means "star tooth" and derives from the fossils found in 1858 by Philip Tyson, then Maryland's State Agricultural Chemist. His discovery of two teeth in the Arundel Clay near Muirkirk in Prince George's County was one of the earliest dinosaur finds in this country and the first in Maryland. Tyson gave the teeth to a local doctor and dentist Christopher Johnston, who sliced a tooth into cross sections, discovering a star pattern. In his 1859 article for the American Journal of Dental Science, Dr. Johnston called the species Astrodon.
Astrodons were sauropods ("lizard-hip"). These large dinosaurs weighed up to 20 tons. They had small heads, long necks, and long tails. Strong, solid legs supported their rounded bodies. Adult Astrodons could be 50 to 60 feet long, and more than 30 feet tall. They were herbivorous, probably feeding on conifers, ferns, and other plants
|Dog||Chesapeake Bay Retriever, 1964
A working dog bred to recover waterfowl for hunters, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is one of only a few breeds actually developed in the United States. Nonetheless, the history of this dog is unclear. Legend tells of an English vessel shipwrecked off the coast of Maryland in the early nineteenth century. Among the survivors were two young dogs of a Newfoundland breed. Supposedly bred to local coonhounds, they evolved into the present-day Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
Found primarily in Frederick and Washington counties, most Maryland milk cows are Holsteins and can be recognized by their large black and white spots. In 1999, Maryland had some 85,000 milk cows throughout the State.
|Fish||Rockfish - Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) April 8, 1965
The first state to adopt the striped bass, or rockfish, was Maryland, on April 8, 1965. The striped bass complements the diamondback terrapin (a tasty turtle), the blue crab, and the Skipjack—a boat traditionally used to harvest seafood—as official symbols of Chesapeake Bay, among the world's most famous estuaries.
Known for its size and fighting ability, the rockfish also is called striped bass. It has an olive green back, fading to light silver on its sides, with a white underside. Seven or eight dark, continuous stripes run from head to tail.
Adult rockfish swim in the ocean but lay their eggs in fresh water. Between April and June, rivers and streams feeding Chesapeake Bay provide spawning grounds for most Atlantic Coast rockfish. Those born in the Bay spend their first 3 to 5 years there before migrating out to the Atlantic, where their life span may be as long as 30 years.
Rockfish is considered by many to be the premier sport and commercial species on the Bay. The silver-flanked, irridescent-striped rockfish is a challenge to catch and a delight to eat. The current Maryland record for rockfish caught in Chesapeake Bay weighed in at 67 pounds, 8 ounces in 1995. Declining stocks, attributed to overfishing and pollution, forced Maryland to impose a moratorium on harvesting the species between 1985 and 1989.
|Flag||State Flag, 1904|
|Flower||The Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) 1918|
|Fossil Shell||Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae, October 1, 1994|
|Insect||Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly, 1973
Butterflies, like bees, are pollinators of crops and wild flora, and the Baltimore Checkerspot is no exception. Its body or thorax is dark brown, a color which extends to its wings, spotted white and then orange on their edges. As part of the family Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies), it bears hairy forelegs too short for walking. The prominent knobs on its antennae also are a trait of this butterfly family.
Like other butterflies, the Baltimore Checkerspot searches for one kind of host plant from which it will gain nourishment during its period of growth. In this case, the Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) is the only host plant that this butterfly will use. In wet meadows and ditches, the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly seeks out the Turtlehead, a creamy white pink-rimmed flower of the snapdragon family. Here, it lays eggs on the undersides of the plant's leaves. In summer, the eggs hatch into orange and black caterpillars (larvae) which feed off this host plant.
Over a period of a few weeks, each caterpillar, as it grows, will molt or shed its skin several times before reaching its full size. Following the last molt, the pupa or chrysalis appears. Within a flexible shell, the chrysalis is a semiliquid in which the butterfly forms. From it emerges an adult butterfly.
|Motto||Fatti maschii parole femine ("manly deeds, womanly words" or "strong deeds, gentle words" )|
|Reptile||Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) 1994
Chesapeake diamondbacks are distinguished by diamond-shaped, concentric rings on the scutes of their upper shells. They are predators whose preference for unpolluted saltwater make them indicators of healthy marsh and river systems. In winter, they hibernate underwater in mud. Around late May, diamondback terrapin emerge to mate, nest, and bask in the sun on coastal dunes or narrow sandy beaches.
Chesapeake colonists ate terrapin prepared Native-American fashion, roasted whole in live coals. Abundant and easy to catch, terrapin were so ample that landowners often fed their slaves and indentured servants a staple diet of terrapin meat. Later, in the 19th century, the turtle was appreciated as gourmet food, especially in a stew laced with cream and sherry. Subsequently, tremendous retail demand and heavy fishing of the terrapin nearly depleted its supply, and protective laws were enacted.
|Seal||Great Seal, 1876|
|Song||"Maryland, My Maryland," 1939
Written by James Ryder Randall
Jousting tournaments have been held in Maryland since early colonial times but became increasingly popular after the Civil War. Retaining the pageantry and customs of medieval tournaments, modern competitors are called "knights" or "maids", and many dress in colorful costumes. Men, women and children compete equally with skill and horsemanship determining the class.
|Theatre||Center Stage, 1978
It is a nonprofit resident professional theater. (Resident theaters invite artists to perform or design costumes and sets for their productions while living in theater-provided housing for the duration of their performance schedules.) One of approximately 70 resident theaters nationwide, Center Stage has an annual operating budget of about $5.4 million and employs some 100 artists and administrators year-round.
|Theatre - Summer||Olney Theatre 1978
Opened in 1941, the 450-seat Olney Theatre hosts several community projects. These include the free Summer Shakespeare Festival; the National Players Touring Company, a classical touring group of young actors; and the National Players School Project, an education program performing for Maryland public schools. Also at Olney is the Potomac Theatre Project of experimental and provocative plays.
|Tree||White Oak, 1941|
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