Indiana 101: How Well Do You Know the Hoosier State?
I realize that, as of this writing, you are (hopefully) enjoying your summer break - nobody wants to think about quizzes or tests or learning. Having said that, I hope you will indulge me in taking a little quiz about the great state of Indiana. For the record, this isn't one of those quizzes where you have to provide or guess the answers - this is one of those "did you know" types of quizzes. I'm just gonna give you the "answers" and hopefully, you learn a thing or two.
18 Indiana State Symbols
I have lived in Indiana my entire life (nearly 50 years), and I'll admit there is a bunch of information below that I did NOT know. If you like learning new things, especially about the great state of Indiana, the following will be right up your alley.
State Aircraft: P-47 Thunderbolt
The beautiful machine pictured above is the "Hoosier Spirit II" (formerly known as "Tarheel Hal"), and she is on display right here in Southern Indiana, at the Evansville Wartime Museum.
State Bird: Cardinal
The redbird is also the state bird for Kentucky, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
This design became our official state flag in 1917. The torch in middle represents liberty and enlightenment. The 13 stars represent the 13 original colonies. The five stars along the top represent the additional states that joined the union. The big start right above the flame represents us, Indiana.
State Flower: Peony
Did you know the official flower of Indiana is the peony? I did not. Heck, I didn't even know what a peony looked like. I reckon I do now, and I reckon peonies are quite pretty.
State Fossil: Mastodon
Who knew Indiana even had an official state fossil? Does every state have an official fossil? Anyhoo, Indiana's is the mastodon.
State Gun: Grouseland Rifle
This beautifully ornate rifle is named after the estate (Grouseland) that was home to Indiana native and the 9th President of the United States, William Henry Harrison.
State Insect: Say's Firefly
I think it's a rite of passage for kids growing in Indiana to chase fireflies in the hopes of catching some, usually in an old margarine container with holes poked in the lid.
State Language: English
The state language of Indiana is English. I didn't realize we had a state language. I'm gonna assume that most states (I realize not all) have English as their official language.
State Motto: "Crossroads of America"
State Nickname: The Hoosier State
State Pie: Sugar Cream Pie
The sugar cream pie is the state pie of Indiana - it even says so right there on the packaging, so it must be official.
State Poem: "Indiana"
"Indiana" was written by Arthur Franklin Mapes, who often reflected on his youth and his affection for his hometown of Kendallville, IN.
God crowned her hills with beauty,
Gave her lakes and winding streams,
Then He edged them all with woodlands
As the setting for our dreams.
Lovely are her moonlit rivers,
Shadowed by the sycamores,
Where the fragrant winds of Summer
Play along the willowed shores.
I must roam those wooded hillsides,
I must heed the native call,
For a pagan voice within me
Seems to answer to it all.
I must walk where squirrels scamper
Down a rustic old rail fence,
Where a choir of birds is singing
In the woodland . . . green and dense.
I must learn more of my homeland
For it's paradise to me,
There's no haven quite as peaceful,
There's no place I'd rather be.
Indiana . . . is a garden
Where the seeds of peace have grown,
Where each tree, and vine, and flower
Has a beauty . . . all its own.
Lovely are the fields and meadows,
That reach out to hills that rise
Where the dreamy Wabash River
Wanders on . . . through paradise.
State River: Wabash River
The illustration above has been the official state seal for Indiana since 1963. The question that has been debated ever since is whether or not that sun is rising or setting? What do you think?
State Snack: Popcorn
It makes sense considering how many doggone corn fields we have in Indiana, that our official state snack would be popcorn - made with Indiana corn, of course.
State Song: "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away"
Our state song was written by Paul Dresser, a native of Terre Haute, back in 1897, it would officially become the Indiana state song in 1913. The song is an homage to Dresser's youth spent near the Wabash.
State Stone: Limestone
State Tree: Tuliptree