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Arizona Facts

Year of Statehood: 1912

Population: 6,392,017 (2010 Census)

State Capitol: Phoenix

State Motto: Ditat Deus (God Enriches)

State Nickname: The Grand Canyon State

Largest City: Phoenix, population 1,445,632 (U.S. Census)

State Size: 113,909 square miles

State Flag

State Flag: Adopted in 1917. The 13 rays of red and gold on the top half of the flag represent both the 13 original colonies of the Union, and the rays of the Western setting sun. The red and the blue are the same shades as the flag of the USA. The flag was designed by Charles W. Harris and first sewn by Nan D. Hayden. Blue and yellow are the Arizona colors, and red and yellow the colors of the Spanish Conquistadores headed by Coronado who first came to Arizona in 1540. The copper star represents Arizona as the largest producer of copper in the nation.

State SealState Seal: Adopted in 1911. Arizona’s main enterprises and attractions are represented in the seal. In the background of the seal is a range of mountains with the sun rising behind the peaks. At the right side of the mountains is a water storage reservoir and a dam, with irrigated fields and orchards. There are cattle grazing on the right, a quartz mill and a miner with a pick and shovel on the left. Above the drawing is the Arizona state motto, Ditat Deus.

State Gem: Turquoise. Turquoise was designated the official gemstone of Arizona in 1974. It’s a blue-green, waxy-surfaced stone used for centuries in Southwest Indian Jewelry. It can be found throughout the Southwest and is composed of hydrous oxide of aluminum and copper.

Official Neckwear: Bola Tie. Designated the official neck ware of Arizona in 1973, the bola tie (sometimes referred to as a bolo tie) is a type of necktie consisting of a piece of cord or braided leather with a decorative metal tips secured with an ornamental clasp or slide. It’s usually made by silversmiths and leather makers in almost every size and shape, most often with silver and turquoise.

State Fossil: Petrified Wood. Petrified wood was designated the state fossil of Arizona in 1988. It was formed from trees alive in Triassic time, over 200 million years ago. These trees grew in high mountain ranges in central Arizona.

State Songs: “Arizona March Song” and “Arizona”

 Living State SymbolsLiving State Symbols

State Tree: Palo Verde. Designated the official state tree of Arizona in 1954 the words “Palo Verde” are Spanish for “green stick.”  They bloom in spring (late March to early May) with brilliant yellow-gold flowers.

State Bird: Cactus Wren. Cactus wrens eat insects, seeds, and fruit. They often build their nests inside a cactus to protect them from predators.

State Flower: Blossom of the Saguaro Cactus. The pure white waxy blossom of the giant saguaro cactus was designated the state flower of Arizona in 1931. It blooms on the tips of the saguaro cactus during the May and June months.

State Mammal: Ringtail. Ringtails are cat-sized carnivores resembling a small fox with a long raccoon-like tail. The tail is about the length of the head and body with 14–16 black and white bands and a black tip.

State Reptile: Arizona Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnake. First known to science in 1905, this small brown snake is one of the most primitive rattlesnakes found in this country.

State Fish: Apache Trout. It is found nowhere else in the world besides the coldwater streams in the White Mountains of Arizona.

State Amphibian: Arizona Tree Frog. This small frog is commonly green but can be gold or bronze with a dark stripe from the snout through the eyes and along the sides.

Adoption of Living Symbols

In 1985, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission ran an "Arizona Wildlife Awareness" program. Part of this program was the opportunity for thousands of schoolchildren from around the state to vote for an official state mammal, reptile, fish and amphibian.

Students studied 800 species in an effort to determine the best choice, with four finalists for each category. Information flyers on the four species in each category were produced to help the students make the final decision. 

On August 13, 1986, the ringtail, Arizona ridgenosed rattlesnake, Apache trout, and Arizona treefrog joined the cactus wren, saguaro blossom, and palo verde as official living state symbols.


Source: http://azgovernor.gov/AZSpotlight/Kids_Facts.asp, http://arizonaguide.com/arizona-travel-info/learn-about-arizona/arizona-facts, and US Census