California State
Symbols & Facts

California was the 31st state in the USA,
admitted on September 9, 1850

These  State Symbols and Facts are very interesting. I've pretty much lived here my whole life and never knew some of them.

  • Nickname: Golden State (named after the discovery of gold)
  • Residents: Californians
  • Colors: Blue (for the sky) & Gold (for the gold found)
  • Song: “I Love You, California”
  • Dance: West Coast Swing - Originated in CA in the 1930s
  • Folk Dance: Square Dancing
  • Fife & Drum Band: California Consolidated Drum Band
  • Motto: “Eureka” (I have found it) Relates to the discovery of gold
  • Slogan: “Find Yourself Here”
  • Geographical Size: 158,706 square miles
  • Capital: Sacramento
  • State Abbreviation/Postal Code: Calif. or CA
  • Number of Counties: 58
  • National Forests: 18
  • National Parks: 10
  • State Parks and Beaches: 278 (1.5 million ac.)
  • Main Rivers: Sacramento River, Colorado River, San Joaquin River
  • Tallest Waterfall: Ribbon Falls
  • Tallest Ship: The Californian
  • Highest Point: Mount Whitney, 14,495 feet above sea level
  • Lowest Point: Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level (this is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere)
  • Geographic Center: In Madera Co., 38 mi. E of Madera
  • Bordering States: Oregon, Nevada, Arizona
  • Bordering Country: Mexico
  • Bordering Body of Water: Pacific Ocean
  • Ghost Town: Bodie
  • Ghost Town (silver rush): Calico
  • Military Museum: California State Military Museum
  • Quarter: California Quarter
  • Tartan: California Tartan
  • Theater: Pasadena Playhouse
  • Historical Society: California Historical Society
  • Beverage: Wine
  • License Plate: White with “California” in a red script across the top

California State Flag..

The Official California State Flag, called the Bear Flag, pictures a five pointed star and a grizzly bear over a red bar and the words, “California Republic“, which was designed by William Todd. This is a great California State Symbol. The lone star made reference to the lone Star of Texas while the grizzly bear was a symbol of great strength.

It was not officially adopted until 1911 but it was first used on June 14, 1846. This flag was quickly made by a small band of American settlers who had just captured the town of Sonoma (from Mexico) and needed a flag to replace the Mexican Banner. Interesting, huh? The flag only flew until July 9, 1846 when it was learned the United States and Mexico were already at war. The Bear Flag was replaced with the American Flag soon after that.


Great Seal of California..

The Great Seal of the State of California was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in 1849. Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, has at her feet clusters of grapes and a grizzly bear representing agricultural richness and wildlife. Below the Sierra Nevada peaks, a miner works near the busy Sacramento River.

There are 31 stars near the upper edge of the seal representing the number of states with California’s anticipated admission. California became a state on September 9, 1850 without having to go through a territorial stage, just as Minerva sprung full grown from the head of Jupiter. The seal was designed by Major R. S. Garnett of the United States Army, and proposed by a clerk of the convention named Caleb Lyon.


Animal State Symbols:

  • Bird: California Valley Quail
  • Mammal: California Grizzly Bear
  • Marine Mammal: Gray Whale
  • Reptile: Desert Tortoise
  • Insect: California Dogface Butterfly
  • Fish: California Golden Trout
  • Marine Fish: Garibaldi
California Valley Quail..

Golden Poppies...

Plant State Symbols:

  • Flower: Golden Poppy
  • Grass: Purple Needlegrass
  • Tree: California Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens & Sequoiadendron giganteum)

Earth State Symbols:

  • Rock: Serpentine
  • Gemstone: Benitoite
  • Fossil: Sabertooth Tiger (Smilodon fatalis)
  • Prehistoric Artifact: Chipped Stone Bear
  • Mineral: Gold
  • Soil: San Joaquin Soil
Benitoite..

Los Angeles..

10 Largest Cities: largest first

  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego
  • San Jose
  • San Francisco
  • Long Beach
  • Fresno
  • Sacramento
  • Oakland
  • Santa Ana
  • Anaheim

Famous Californians:

  • Dave Brubeck (musician)
  • Julia Child (chef)
  • Joe DiMaggio (baseball)
  • John Fremont (explorer)
  • Robert Frost (poet)
  • William Randolph Hearst (publisher)
  • Anthony Kennedy (US Supreme Court)
  • Jack London (Author)
  • George S. Patton (General)
  • John Muir (naturalist)
  • Richard Nixon (President)
  • Marilyn Monroe (Actress)
  • Robert Redford (actor)
  • Father Junipero Serra (missionary)
  • Upton Sinclair (author)
  • John Steinbeck (author)
  • Shirley Temple (actress & ambassador)
Joe DiMaggio..
Marilyn Monroe..
Robert Redford..

Hollywood Walk of Fame...

Famous For:


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