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New York State Emblems

This is today's official flag of the state of New York but rather than being dreamt up by a designer in a drawing office, it has evolved down the years, from an original revolutionary war flag. The background is dark blue and in the center is the New York coat of arms, adopted in 1778 and showing justice and liberty on either side of a shield. On the shield is a mountain sunrise scene. A Hudson Sloop and a square rigger represent commerce and underneath is the state motto, "Excelsior", which loosely translated means "ever upward". Must be a reference to high rise buildings!

There are plenty more emblems to be had. There's the State Flower, a rose, any rose, which was the winner of a poll among school children in 1891. The State fruit is the apple, which arrived on these fair shores in the 1600's, when European settlers brought seeds with them. From then on, hard apple cider became something of a favorite among the colonists.

The State Tree is the Sugar Maple and the State Fish is the Brook Trout. Native to New York State, "Brookies" abound in the lakes of the Adirondack Mountains and in the waters of New York state. Anglers will be interested to hear that they're mighty tasty too!

The State Animal is the Beaver, which nearly became extinct in the 1800s, as it was hunted for it's pelt. The state Fossil is Eurypterus Remipes, which was quite common 400 million years ago, during the Silurian Age. It was a kind of crab and is related to today's king crab and sea scorpion. It spent its days crawling along the bottom of the sea that extended from Buffalo to Schenectady and south to Poughkeepsie. My research for this piece indicates that this is roughly the route of the New York Thruway.

New York has a State Gem - The wine-red garnet; and a State Bird - the red-breasted bluebird which winters throughout the state.

Finally, where else but New York would you find a State Muffin? It's the Apple Muffin. The children of Bear Road Elementary School in North Syracuse somehow managed to persuade the Governor to sign a bill making it the official state muffin !!!

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