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Official Symbols of Georgia
green tree frog

The green tree frog (Hyla cinerea) was designated the official state AMPHIBIAN on May 9, 2005, thanks to the efforts of a 4th grade class at Armuchee Elementary School in Rome.

Georgia Museum of Art

Georgia designated the Georgia Museum of Art, on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens, as the offical state ART MUSEUM on April 16, 1982.

The Atlas of Georgia, the first atlas ever produced for the State of Georgia (in 1981), was designated the official state ATLAS on March 28, 1985. The Atlanta Ballet, founded in 1929 and now the oldest continuously operating dance company was designated the official STATE BALLET COMPANY on March 14, 1973.
The Hawkinsville Civitan Club's "Shoot the Bull" Barbecue Championship was made the official state BEEF BARBECUE COOK-OFF on April 14, 1997. brown thrasher

In 1928, the school children of Georgia selected the brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) as the official state BIRD. No official action was taken, however, until April 6, 1935, when the brown thrasher was declared the state bird of Georgia by proclamation of Governor Eugene Talmadge. The State Legislature finalized the bird's "official status" on March 20, 1970.

tiger swallowtail

The Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) was designated the official state BUTTERFLY on April 4, 1988.

Mighty Eighth

The Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum (now the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force) was declared the official state CENTER FOR CHARACTER EDUCATION on June 2, 2003.

Southern Appalachian Brook Trout

The Southern Appalachian Brook Trout was designated the official state COLD WATER GAME FISH in 2006.


Georgia is the number-one peanut-producing state in the country, accounting for approximately 49 percent of the crop's national acreage and production, which is why it was designated the official state CROP in 1995.

largemouth bass

The Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) was designated the official state FISH on March 24, 1970.

flag of Georgia

The current design of the FLAG of Georgia was approved by the Georgia General Assembly on May 5, 2003, and by the voters of the state on March 2, 2004.

Cherokee rose

The Cherokee rose (Rosa laevigata) was adopted as the official state FLORAL EMBLEM on August 18, 1916, at the request of the Federation of Women's Clubs..

John and Nancy Feek, chairpersons for American Folk Dance of Georgia, persuaded State Representative J. Max Davis and Senator Joseph Burton to sponsor a bill making the Square Dance the official state FOLK DANCE. The bill became law on April 8, 1996.
The Georgia Folk Festival was designated the official state FOLK FESTIVAL in 1992. Swamp Gravy

Produced every March and October at the Cotton Hall Theater in Colquitt, Swamp Gravy was designated the official state FOLK LIFE PLAY in 1994

shark tooth

The official state FOSSIL is the tooth of Carcharocles megalodon, a large shark that became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period. It was so designated on March 18, 1976.

The Funk Heritage/Bennett Center at Reinhardt College in Waleska was designated the official state FRONTIER AND SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN INTERPRETIVE CENTER in 2003.

The Peach was designated the official state FRUIT on April 7, 1995.

bobwhite quail

The Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus) was designated the official state GAME BIRD on March 20, 1970.


Quartz was designated the official state GEM on March 18, 1976, as part of the same bill which designated a state fossil and a state mineral.

Staged for two months each summer, "The Reach of Song" is a performance that celebrates the heritage of Appalachia. This nationally acclaimed show presents the pleasures and the sorrows of mountain life in an auditorium on the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds near Hiawassee. It was designated the official state HISTORIC DRAMA in 1990.

The Honeybee (Apis mellifera) was designated the official state INSECT on April 18, 1975.

white-tailed deer

The Whitetail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was designated the official state MAMMAL on April 30, 2015.

right whale mother and calf

The Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) was designated the official state MARINE MAMMAL on April 2, 1985.


Staurolite, which is found in abundance throughout northern Georgia, was designated the official state MINERAL on March 18, 1976, as part of the same bill which designated a state fossil and a state gem.

Wisdom Justice Moderation

Although Georgia has never adopted an official state MOTTO, the 1799 State Assembly mandated that the phrase Wisdom Justice Moderation be placed on the state seal.

The Jekyll Island Musical Theatre Festival has presented musical theatre in the Jekyll Island Amphitheatre since the summer of 1989. It was designated the official state MUSICAL THEATRE in 1993.
Ashburn peanut monument

The peanut monument in Ashburn, home to the world's largest peanut-shelling plant, was designated the official state PEANUT MONUMENT in 1998.

Dooly County Chamber of Commerce's Slosheye Trail Big Pig Jig, in Vienna, was designated the official state PORK BARBCUE COOK-OFF on April 14, 1997, as part of the same bill which designated an official state beef barbecue cook-off.

Cartoonist Walt Kelly was inspired to create Pogo 'Possum and his friends after visiting Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp in 1942, and made him the star of a nationally syndicated comic strip from 1948 to 1975. Pogo became the official state 'POSSUM on April 20, 1992.


Grits were designated the official state PREPARED FOOD in 2002.

Georgia State Railroad Museum

The Central of Georgia Railroad Shops Complex in Savannah was designated the official state RAILROAD MUSEUM in 1996.

gopher tortoise

The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) was designated the official state REPTILE on March 30, 1989. The enabling act was spurred by concerns over the tortoise's declining numbers due to habitat loss.

red drum

The Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) was designated the official state SALT WATER FISH in 2006.

Plains High School

Plains High School opened in 1921, was racially integrated in 1966, and served students from Plains until 1979. Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn are the school's most famous graduates. Designated the official state SCHOOL in 1979, it is now part of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.

front of the Georgia seal

The front of the SEAL of the state of Georgia features a symbolic image of the Constitution as an arch that is supported by three pillars. The pillars represent the three branches of government-- the legislature, the judicial, and the executive. Banners worded Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation, hang from the pillars. The principles of the Constitution are symbolically protected by a guardian standing ready with a drawn sword. Circling the images are the words "State of Georgia 1776." The reverse reads "Agriculture and Commerce 1776," and the image is of the seashore with a ship at anchor near a wharf receiving hogsheads of tobacco and bales of cotton, Georgia exports. A small boat can be seen in the distance representing internal traffic. A man is shown plowing in a field and a flock of sheep is shown in the shade of a tree representing the agricultural aspects of the state. The design was adopted in 1798.

knobbed whelk

The Knobbed Whelk (Busycon carica) was designated the official state SEASHELL on April 16, 1987.

"Georgia On My Mind," by Stuart Gorrell and Hoagy Carmichael, was officially adopted as the state SONG on April 24, 1979, replacing "Georgia," by Robert Loveman and Mrs. Lollie Belle Wylie). Georgia District Tartan

The Georgia District Tartan was designated the official state TARTAN on May 1, 1997. General James Oglethorpe commanded the Highland Independent Company of Foot which, in 1746, wore the Black Watch tartan. Captain John ‘Mohr’ MacIntosh is remembered in the MacIntosh red.

Springer Opera House

The Springer Opera House, in Columbus, was built in 1872. Governor Jimmy Carter proclaimed it the State THEATRE of Georgia for the 1971-72 season, and the legislature made the designation permanent in 1992. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1978.

The Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth was designated the official state TRANSPORTATION HISTORY MUSEUM in 2000.
live oak

Thanks to members of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) was designated the official state TREE on February 25, 1937.

Vidalia onions

Internationally acclaimed as the world’s sweetest onion, Vidalia Onions can only be grown in fields surrounding Vidalia and Glennville. They were designated the official state VEGETABLE in 1990.

"Our Georgia," by James Burch, was designated the official state WALTZ in 1951. azalea

The Azalea (Rhododendrun spp) was designated the official state WILDFLOWER on April 19, 1979. On May 7, 2013, the enabling act was amended to specify the native azalea as the official wildflower (as opposed to any cultivated variety).


Digital Library of Georgia
State Symbols USA

See Also

Bobwhite Quail
Whitetail Deer
Jimmy Carter
Hoagy Carmichael
James Oglethorpe

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The Robinson Library >> Georgia

This page was last updated on January 02, 2019.