From the state wildflower (Dwarf Lake Iris) to the state motto, Michigan is rich with symbolic history dating back to the state’s beginning.
These include well-known symbols, like the state stone (Petoskey Stone), and the less-commonly known state song, My Michigan. They each serve as reminders to us all of our heritage and the common roots that helped shape our economy and define a unique way of life.
At the end of the day, we’re all Michiganders — with an innate ability to come together to meet challenges and persevere.
We recently celebrated the legislative anniversaries of both the American Robin and Apple Blossom as state symbols. The Michigan Senate Republicans encourage all residents to learn about our state symbols, their meanings and their importance.
For starters, here are a few of our favorite state symbols:
Officially designated on April 3, 1931, the Robin Redbreast was chosen as the state bird for being “the best known and best loved of all the birds in the state of Michigan.”
In April of 1897, the Apple Blossom became the state flower. It’s native to Michigan, and legislative sponsors called it “one of the most fragrant and beautiful species of apple.”
Isle Royale Greenstone
Known as the Isle Royale Greenstone, chlorastrolite has been Michigan’s official state gem since 1973. Found mainly in the western Upper Peninsula, it is a bluish-green gemstone with a color pattern reminiscent of a turtleback. Once polished, the greenstone is often are used in rings, earrings, pendants and more.
In 1965, “the trout” was designated at the state fish. More than two decade later, lawmakers specified the Brook Trout as the state fish. The native fish can only live in cool, clean water and is found in lakes, rivers and streams throughout the state.
A symbol of Michigan’s rich logging history, the white pine was named the official state tree in 1955. The white pine was the focal point of Michigan’s lumber industry in the 19th Century. It helped Michigan lead the nation in lumber production from the 1860s to the late 1890s. Many of our state’s vibrant cities owe their start to the logging of white pine.