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Official Symbols of New Mexico
Balloon Festival at Albuquerque

The first hot air balloon rally in New Mexico was held at Roswell in conjunction with the Wool Bowl Thanksgiving 1973. That was followed by the World Balloon Championship contests that evolved into the First International Balloon Fiesta at Albuquerque in 1977. A bill making the Hot Air Balloon the official AIRCRAFT of New Mexico was passed by the State Legislature on March 1, 2005.

New Mexico spadefoot toad

The New Mexico Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata) was adopted as the official state AMPHIBIAN on April 6, 2003.

black bear

The Black Bear (Ursus americanus) was adopted as the official state ANIMAL on February 8, 1963. [about the black bear]

In 1996 the State of New Mexico adopted an official state question. On April 2, 2007, Governor Bill Richardson signed legislation designating Red and Green or Christmas as the official state ANSWER.
"Land of Enchantment-New Mexico", by Taos resident Michael Martin Murphey, was adopted as the official state BALLAD in 1989. [lyrics] The Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque was named the official state BALLOON MUSEUM in 1999.
"New Mexico -- Mi Lindo Nuevo México", words and music by Pablo Mares, was adopted as the official BILINGUAL SONG of New Mexico in 1995. [lyrics] roadrunner
The Roadrunner (Geococcyx cslifornianus) was adopted as the official BIRD of New Mexico on March 16, 1949.
sandia hairstreak

The Sandia Hairstreak (Callophrys mcfarlandi) was adopted as the official BUTTERFLY of New Mexico on April 6, 2003. Found in 24 of the state's 33 counties, the species was first described in 1960 based on a specimen taken in the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque.

Dusty Roadrunner

Created in 1967, "Dusty Roadrunner" was adopted as the official state CLEAN-UP MASCOT in 1969. Dusty travels the state with Keep New Mexico Beautiful, Inc., to promote and encourage litter-free and beautified landscapes.


The Bizcochito was designated the official state COOKIE in 1989 to encourage home baking, making New Mexico the first state to recognize an official state cookie. A small anise- and cinnamon-flavored shortbread cookie, the bizcochito was introduced by Spaniards in the 16th century and is most commonly made for wedding receptions, baptisms, Christmas, and other special celebrations. [recipe]

"Under the New Mexico Skies", by Syd Masters of Edgewood, was designated the official state COWBOY SONG on March 25, 2009. The song was selected at a songwriting competition sponsored by the New Mexico Music Commission at the Western Music Association Music Festival in Albuquerque in 2007. [lyrics]
Nex Mexico cutthroat trout

The New Mexico Cutthroat Trout, also known as the Rio Grande Cutthroat, (Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis) was adopted as the official state FISH on March 28, 1955.

New Mexico state flag

Adopted in 1925, the FLAG of New Mexico features a modern interpretation of an an ancient native red sun symbol called a "Zia" on a field of yellow. The design of the flag was chosen via a competition sponsored by the New Mexico Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which was won by Reba Mera. [more about the contest and design]


The Yucca was selected by New Mexico schoolchildren and the New Mexico Federation of Women's Clubs to be the official state FLOWER, and a bill enacting such designation was adopted by the State Legislature on March 14, 1927. No specific species of yucca was chosen by either the children or the Legislature.

Coelophysis bauri

The New Mexico Legislature adopted Coelophysis bauri as the official state FOSSIL on March 17, 1981. The first remains of the fossil were found in 1881 and was classified by Edward D. Cope in 1889.  In 1947 a large "graveyard" of Coelophysis was found at the Ghost Ranch in Rio Arriba County not far from the original find.


Turquoise was adopted as the official state GEM by the New Mexico Legislature on March 23, 1967.

blue grama

New Mexico adopted Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracillis), which is the most valuable forage grass in the state for cattle, as the official state GRASS in 1973.

New Mexico Sunrise Guitar

On March 25, 2009, the New Mexico Sunrise was named the official GUITAR of New Mexico. Designed and handcrafted by Pimentel & Sons, the custom guitar is made from 10 types of aged wood from around the world, features inlaid Zia sun symbols, and is adorned with inlays of coral and mother-of-pearl.

tarantula hawk wasp

In 1988 students at Edgewood Elementary School decided that New Mexico needed to join the list of states with an official INSECT. After selecting three candidates they mailed ballots to every school in the state for a state-wide election, which was won by the Tarantula Hawk Wasp (Pepsis formosa). The entire class was present when the enabling legislation was passed on April 3, 1989. [more about the selection]

squash blossom necklace

Considered one of the most characteristic of Southwest Native American jewelry designs, the Native American Squash Blossom was adopted as the official New Mexico NECKLACE on June 17, 2011. The iconic design traces to when Navajo silversmiths adopted the adopted the crescent-shaped "naja" of the Spanish into their own artwork.

"A Nuevo México", written by Luis Tafoya, was adopted as the official state POEM of New Mexico in 1991. [the poem]
In 1996 the New Mexico State Legislature adopted "Red or Green?", as in which color of chile pepper one prefers when ordering New Mexico cuisine, as the official state QUESTION. Chile peppers are the number one cash crop in New Mexico, New Mexico whiptail

First recognized as a species from a specimen collected in Socorro County in 1947, the New Mexico Whiptail (Cnemidophorus neomexianus) became the official state REPTILE on April 6, 2003.

Great Seal of New Mexico

The design of the SEAL of New Mexico was established by the State Legislature in 1913. A Mexican eagle grasping a snake in its beak and cactus in its talons portrays an ancient Aztec myth and symbolizes that New Mexico treasures its Spanish, Mexican and Native American traditions. That eagle is shielded by a Bald Eagle with wings outstretched, grasping arrows in its talons, symbolizing the change of sovereignty in 1846 between Mexico and the United States. "Crescit eundo," Latin for "It grows as it goes," is a quote from a poem which refers to a thunderbolt increasing in strength as it moves across the sky.

"Everybody is somebody in New Mexico" was adopted as the official state SLOGAN FOR BUSINESS, COMMERCE, AND INDUSTRY on April 3, 1975.
"O Fair New Mexico", written by Elizabeth Garrett (blind daughter of famed sheriff Pat Garrett), became the official SONG of New Mexico on March 14, 1917. [lyrics and more information] "Así Es Nuevo Méjico", by Amadeo Lucero, was sung by Lieutenant Governor Roberto Mondragon (with guitar accompaniment) to the assembled members of the 1971 New Mexico State Legislature and was promptly adopted as the official state SPANISH LANGUAGE SONG. [lyrics]
bolo tie

The Bolo was adopted as the official TIE of New Mexico on March 13, 2007.

Cumbres and Toltec

The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad was named the official TRAIN of New Mexico in 2005. Running 64 miles between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado, this train uses steam locomotives and passenger cars dating back to the 1880's. [website]

pinon pine

A series of contests sponsored by the New Mexico Federation of Women's Clubs resulted in the Piñon Pine (Pinus edulis) being chosen as the official TREE of New Mexico on March 16, 1949.

chiles and frijoles

New Mexico designated both Chile and Frijoles (pinto beans) as official state VEGETABLES in 1965. Both were chosen, as opposed to one or the other, because New Mexicans believe it nearly impossible to use one without the other.


New Mexico Secretary of State
State Symbols USA

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The Robinson Library >> New Mexico

This page was last updated on January 06, 2019.