List of Virginia state symbols

Last updated
Location of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States of America Map of USA VA.svg
Location of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States of America

This is a list of symbols of the United States Commonwealth of Virginia . The majority of the items in the list are officially recognized symbols created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by the governor. The state nickname, The Old Dominion, is the oldest symbol. However, it is the only symbol that is not official. The other nickname, "Mother of Presidents", is also historic, as eight Virginians have served as President of the United States, including four of the first five: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson. Additionally, Sam Houston, president of the Republic of Texas, Fulwar Skipwith, the president of the Republic of West Florida, and Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the first president of Liberia were from Virginia.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Virginia General Assembly legislative body of Virginia, United States

The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World, established on July 30, 1619. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates, with 100 members, and an upper house, the Senate of Virginia, with 40 members. Combined together, the General Assembly consists of 140 elected representatives from an equal number of constituent districts across the commonwealth. The House of Delegates is presided over by the Speaker of the House, while the Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. The House and Senate each elect a clerk and sergeant-at-arms. The Senate of Virginia's clerk is known as the "Clerk of the Senate".

Governor of Virginia head of state and of government of the U.S. commonwealth of Virginia

The Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia serves as the chief executive of the Commonwealth of Virginia for a four-year term. The current holder of the office is Democrat Ralph Northam, who was sworn in on January 13, 2018. His term of office will end in 2022.

Contents

The state motto and seal have been official since Virginia declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Virginia is the only state to have the same plant for state flower and state tree, the Flowering Dogwood. [1] The majority of the symbols were made official in the late 20th century.

Kingdom of Great Britain Constitutional monarchy in Western Europe between 1707 and 1801

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 1 January 1801. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". Since its inception the kingdom was in legislative and personal union with Ireland and after the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.

Miscellaneous

TypeSymbolYearImage
Flag State seal on a blue background. Defined as:

The flag of the Commonwealth shall hereafter be made of bunting or merino. It shall be a deep blue field, with a circular white centre of the same material. Upon this circle shall be painted or embroidered, to show on both sides alike, the coat of arms of the Commonwealth, as described in § 7.1-26 for the obverse of the great seal of the Commonwealth; and there shall be a white silk fringe on the outer edge, furthest from the flagstaff. This shall be known and respected as the flag of Virginia. (Code 1950, § 7-32; 1966, c. 102.) [2]

1950 [2] [3] Flag of Virginia.svg
Motto Sic semper tyrannis
(Thus always to tyrants)
1776 [3]
Nickname Old Dominion, Mother of States, Mother of Presidentsn/a [B]
Seal The Seal of Virginia. Defined as:

The great seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall consist of two metallic discs, two and one-fourth inches in diameter, with an ornamental border one fourth of an inch wide, with such words and figures engraved thereon as will, when used, produce impressions to be described as follows: On the obverse, Virtus, the genius of the Commonwealth, dressed as an Amazon, resting on a spear in her right hand, point downward, touching the earth; and holding in her left hand, a sheathed sword, or parazonium, pointing upward; her head erect and face upturned; her left foot on the form of Tyranny represented by the prostrate body of a man, with his head to her left, his fallen crown nearby, a broken chain in his left hand, and a scourge in his right. Above the group and within the border conforming therewith, shall be the word "Virginia", and, in the space below, on a curved line, shall be the motto, "Sic Semper Tyrannis." On the reverse, shall be placed a group consisting of Libertas, holding a wand and pileus in her right hand; on her right, Aeternitas, with a globe and phoenix in her right hand; on the left of Libertas, Ceres, with a cornucopia in her left hand, and an ear of wheat in her right; over this device, in a curved line, the word "Perseverando."

(Code 1950, § 7-26; 1966, c. 102.)

1950 (original adopted in 1776) [3] Seal of Virginia.svg
Slogan Virginia is for Lovers 1969 [4]
License plate The plate has a completely white background. Virginia is written in red at the top. "400th Anniversary" is written at the bottom with a picture of a ship separating the words. 1607 is written on the left and 2007 is written on the right.2013 [5] [6] Virginiaplate.jpg
[C]

Plants

TypeSymbolYearImage
Flower American Dogwood
(Cornus florida)
1918 Benthamidia florida2.jpg
Tree American Dogwood
(Cornus florida)
1956 Benthamidia florida2.jpg

Animals

TypeSymbolYearImage
Bat Virginia Big-Eared Bat
(C.t. virginianus)
2005 Virginia big-eared bat female.JPG
Bird Northern Cardinal
(Cardinalis cardinalis)
1950 Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) male.jpg
Dog American Foxhound
(Canis lupus familiaris)
1966 AmericanFoxhound.jpg
Fresh Water Fish Brook trout
(Salvelinus fontinalis)
1993 Salvelinus fontinalis.jpg
Insect Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
(Papilio glaucus)
1991 Pristine Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.jpg
Salamander Red Salamander
(Pseudotriton ruber)
2018 [7] Pseudotriton ruber - Red Salamander.jpg
Salt Water Fish Striped Bass
(Morone saxatilis)
2011 Striped Bass 2.jpg
Shell Eastern oyster
(Crassostrea virginica)
1974 OysterBed.jpg

Geology

TypeSymbolYearImage
Fossil Chesapecten jeffersonius 1993 Chesapecten Jeffersonius Inside.jpg
Rock Nelsonite 2016 Nelsonite (rock).jpg

Culture

TypeSymbolYearImage
Boat Chesapeake Bay deadrise 1988
Drink Milk

George Washington's Rye Whiskey (state spirit)

1982

2017

Milk glass.jpg
Folk dance Square dance 1991 Square Dance Group.jpg
Maple Festival Highland County Maple Festival 2014
Song "Our Great Virginia" (traditional)
"Sweet Virginia Breeze" (popular)
"Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" (emeritus)
2015
Tartan Virginia Quadricentennial Tartan2007

Notes

A The flag was adopted in 1861 after secession from the United States. [3]

B The Virginia Colony was nicknamed "The Old Dominion" by King Charles II for its perceived loyalty to the English monarchy during the English Civil War. [8] [ dubious ][ better source needed ]

Charles II of England 17th-century King of England, Ireland and Scotland

Charles II was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was king of Scotland from 1649 until his deposition in 1651, and king of England, Scotland and Ireland from the 1660 Restoration of the monarchy until his death.

English Civil War Civil war in England (1642–1651)

The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") principally over the manner of England's governance. The first (1642–1646) and second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.

C Pictures of Virginia license plates throughout the years can be found here.

Vehicle registration plates of Virginia Virginia vehicle license plates

The U.S. state of Virginia first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display license plates in 1906. Plates are currently issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

D In 1940, Virginia made "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" the state song, but it was retired in 1997 and reclassified as the state song emeritus. [9]

"Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" is a song which was written by James A. Bland (1854–1911), an African American who wrote over 700 songs. It is not an adaption by Bland of the "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia" by the Christy Minstrels, also known by the title; "Floating Scow of Old Virginny", a song copyrighted by Edwin Pearce Christy in 1847. Bland simply appropriated the song title. Bland's song bears no resemblance to it melodically, harmonically, or in the lyrics. The latter song was very popular during the California gold rush and the American Civil War. Many parodies were written on this melody and became popular with miners, Civil War soldiers and civilians. Bland's version, the best known, was written in 1878 when many newly-freed slaves were struggling to find work. The song has become controversial in modern times, with critics viewing the lyrics as racially insensitive.

See also

Related Research Articles

Coat of arms of the Philippines official coat of arms of the Republic of the Philippines

The Coat of arms of the Philippines features the eight-rayed sun of the Philippines with each ray representing the eight provinces which were placed under martial law by Governor-General Ramón Blanco during the Philippine Revolution, and the three five-pointed stars representing the three primary geographic regions of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Coat of arms and flag of New Jersey Official government emblem of the U.S. state of New Jersey

The coat of arms of the State of New Jersey includes:

Flags of the U.S. states and territories Wikimedia list article

The flags of the U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia exhibit a variety of regional influences and local histories, as well as different styles and design principles. Nonetheless, the majority of the states' flags share the same design pattern consisting of the state seal superimposed on a monochrome background, commonly a shade of blue.

Flag of Maine flag

The flag of the State of Maine features Maine's state coat of arms on a blue field. In the center of the shield, a moose rests under a tall pine tree. A farmer and seaman represent the traditional reliance on agriculture and the sea by the state. The North Star represents the state motto: dirigo" .

Flag of Rhode Island flag

The flag of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is white and consists of a gold anchor in the center surrounded by thirteen gold stars. A blue ribbon below the anchor bears the state's motto in gold: "HOPE." The flag is frequently depicted with golden fringe around the edges of the flag.

Flag of Tennessee State flag

The flag of Tennessee consists of an emblem on a field of red, with a strip of blue on the fly. The emblem in the middle consists of three stars on a blue circle. The central emblem portion of the flag appears in the logos of some Tennessee-based companies and sports teams. Examples include the First Tennessee Bank and the Tennessee Titans.

Flag of West Virginia Flag of the U.S. state of West Virginia

The flag of West Virginia is the official flag of the U.S. state of West Virginia and was officially adopted by the West Virginia Legislature on March 7, 1962. The present flag consists of a pure white field bordered by a blue stripe with the coat of arms of West Virginia in the center, wreathed by Rhododendron maximum and topped by an unfurled red ribbon reading, "State of West Virginia." It is the only state flag to bear crossing rifles, meant to illustrate the importance of the state's fight for liberty during the Civil War.

Gadsden flag Historical American flag depicting a rattlesnake and the words "Dont Tread on Me"

The Gadsden flag is a historical American flag with a yellow field depicting a timber rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. Positioned below the rattlesnake are the words "DONT TREAD ON ME" The flag is named after American general and politician Christopher Gadsden (1724–1805), who designed it in 1775 during the American Revolution. It was used by the Continental Marines as an early motto flag, along with the Moultrie flag.

Flag and seal of Virginia Official government flag and emblem of the U.S. state of Virginia

The Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia is the official seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a U.S. state. The flag of Virginia consists of the obverse of the seal against a blue background. A state flag was first adopted at the beginning of the American Civil War in April 1861, readopted in 1912, and standardized by the General Assembly in February 1950. The flag may be decorated with a white fringe along the fly; this is usually done when the flag is displayed indoors.

Seal of Texas Official government emblem of the U.S. state of Texas

The Seal of the State of Texas was adopted through the 1845 Texas Constitution, and was based on the seal of the Republic of Texas, which dates from January 25, 1839.

History of the flags of the United States The evolutionary process of the flag of the United States of America

This article describes the evolution of the flag of the United States, as well as other flags used within the U.S., such as the flags of governmental agencies. There are also separate flags for embassies and boats.

Outline of Virginia Overview of and topical guide to Virginia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. state of Virginia:

Coat of arms of Pennsylvania

The coat of arms of Pennsylvania is an official emblem of the state, alongside the seal and state flag, and was adopted in 1778. The flag of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania consists of a blue field on which the state coat of arms is embroidered. The Pennsylvania coat of arms features a shield crested by an American bald eagle, flanked by horses, and adorned with symbols of Pennsylvania's strengths—a ship carrying state commerce to all parts of the world; a clay-red plough, a symbol of Pennsylvania's rich natural resources; and three golden sheaves of wheat, representing fertile fields and Pennsylvania's wealth of human thought and action. An olive branch and cornstalk cross limbs beneath—symbols of peace and prosperity. The state motto, "Virtue, Liberty and Independence", appears festooned below. Atop the coat of arms is a bald eagle, representing Pennsylvania's loyalty to the United States.

References

  1. "State Trees & State Flowers". United States National Arboreteum. March 5, 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  2. 1 2 Commonwealth of Virginia (February 1, 1950). "§ 1-506. Flag of the Commonwealth". Code of Virginia . Virginia: Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved January 28, 2015. The flag of the Commonwealth shall be a deep blue field, with a circular white centre of the same material. Upon this circle shall be painted or embroidered, to show on both sides alike, the coat of arms of the Commonwealth, as described in § 1-500 for the obverse of the great seal of the Commonwealth; and there may be a white fringe on the outer edge, furthest from the flagstaff. This shall be known and respected as the flag of the Commonwealth. (Code 1950, § 7-32; 1966, c. 102, § 7.1-32; 2005, c. 839.)
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Virginia (U.S.)". Flags of the World. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
  4. "Virginia Is For Lovers". Virginia.org. Archived from the original on 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
  5. Sinclair Broadcast Group. "New Virginia license plates with "Virginia is for Lovers" slogan". WJLA. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  6. "License plates of Virginia". World License Plates. Retrieved 2002-08-22.
  7. https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+ful+HB459ER
  8. "How did Virginia get its nickname the old dominion?". Blurt It. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
  9. "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny". Virginia Historical Society. January 11, 2007. Archived from the original on October 26, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-12.