Arizona State Facts
Arizona State Seal
See if you can find all of these drawings on the seal. In the background is a mountain range with the sun rising behind the peaks. At the right side of the range of mountains is a storage reservoir (a lake) and a dam. In the middle are irrigated fields and orchards. In the lower right side of the seal is grazing cattle. To the left, on a mountainside, is a quartz mill with a miner with a pick and shovel. Above the drawing is the motto “Ditat Deus,” meaning “God Enriches.” The words “Great Seal of the State of Arizona” and the year of admission to the United States, 1912, is written around the seal.
Arizona 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.
Arizona State Gem
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.
Arizona State Fossil
Petrified wood is the state fossil. Most of the petrified wood in Arizona can be found in the Petrified Forest in the northern part of the state. A long time ago the wood used to be trees. Over a long period of time the wood became petrified, meaning it is as hard as a rock!
Arizona State Fish
The Apache Trout is the state fish. It has a yellowish color and pink bands. It has spots on its body and is found in state rivers.
Arizona State Neckwear
The bola tie is “a new symbol of the west,” and is usually hand-made in many different shapes, sizes, and types. They are fun to wear because you don’t have to learn to tie one like a cloth tie!They just slip up and down on a thin braided rope.
Arizona State Amphibian
Amphibian is an adult word for frogs, toads, and salamanders. This Arizona Tree Frog is the state amphibian. It is small, usually 3/4 to 2 inches long, a little larger than the size of a quarter. Most are green but some can be gold colored. Can you see a dark stripe that starts at its nose and runs through the eye? The stripe ends just before the back legs.
Arizona State Reptile
The Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake was the last rattlesnake to be named by herpetologists (grown-ups who study snakes). This snake is small, rarely weighing more than 3-4 ounces as an adult or growing longer than 24 inches. The ridge-nosed rattlesnake lives only the Huachuca, Patagonia, and Santa Rita Mountains in the south central part of Arizona.
Arizona State Mammal
The ringtail is the state mammal, it is not really a cat but is related to the raccoon and coatimundi.The ringtail is also known as the ringtail cat, miner’s cat, and cacomistle. It was named the state mammal in 1986.
Arizona State Flower
The state flower is the white blossom of the saguaro, the largest cactus in the United States. The saguaro blossoms appear on the tips of the long arms of the cactus during May and June. Next time you go for a ride, ask your mom or dad to point out a saguaro cactus. You can tell them the state flower grows on it in the spring!
Arizona State Butterfly
Arizona’s state butterfly is the two-tailed swallowtail butterfly. Swallowtails are the largest species of butterflies in the United States. It features a wingspan of 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches long. Found only west of the Mississippi River, two-tailed swallowtails are strong flyers. It is bright yellow, although females have a slightly orange cast to their wings. On the yellow background of each hind wing are seven iridescent blue, rectangular-shaped markings, and two red crescent shaped marks. Four narrow black bars run up and down the forewings. Both forewings and hind wings are edged in black. The key field mark for this butterfly is its two “tails” on each hind wing. A swallowtail’s habitat includes canyon lands, foothills, valleys and woodlands.
Arizona State Tree
The palo verde, meaning “green stick”, is the state tree. The palo verde is found in the desert and the foothills of Arizona. When the trees bloom in late spring, they look like gold.