|Symbols of Florida
"Sunshine State" is the nickname most commonly attached to
Florida. It was adopted as the state nickname by the 1970
Many flags have flown over Florida. These included
the flags of five nations: Spain, France, Great Britain, the
United States, and the Confederate States of America. Many
other unofficial flags have flown over Florida in its history.
The current flag was approved by the state legislature in
1899 and by the citizens of Florida in 1900.
The state seal of Florida,
revised in 1985, corrected several errors that appeared in
the previous seal. The seal shows the sun, a steamboat sailing,
a Sabal Palm tree, and a Seminole woman scattering flowers.
The seal is encircled by the words: "Great Seal of the State
of Florida: In God We Trust." The first seal was designed
State Tree: Sabal Palm
the state legislature named the Sabal Palm as the state tree.
The Sabal Palm is also shown on the state seal. This tree
grows well in almost any soil and is the most widely distributed
tree throughout Florida. The Sabal Palm is also known as the
State Animal: Florida Panther
The panther is the official state
animal of Florida. In 1982 Florida students chose the Florida
panther over the key deer, the manatee, and the alligator
as the state animal. Long ago, panthers were found throughout
the southeastern United States, ranging from Texas to the
tip of Florida. However, they were hunted and killed because
settlers feared them. Now adult panthers remain in national
and state parks and on private lands in southwest Florida.
Panthers are among the rarest and most endangered animals
in the world.
State Flower: Orange Blossom
Florida's state flower
is the orange blossom. These fragrant white flowers grow on
the orange tree. At one time, bouquets of orange blossoms
were transported to all parts of the United States for brides
to carry at their weddings. The orange blossom became the
official state flower in 1909.
State Wildflower: Coreopsis Florida's
state wildflower is the coreopsis. The coreopsis blooms in
a range of colors from bright lemon yellow to gold to pink.
The wildflower is used widely in the state's roadside plantings
and highway beautification programs. The state legislature
designated the coreopsis as the state wildflower in 1991.
State Day: April 2 In 1953 the
state legislature designated April 2 as State Day. Ponce de
León first sighted Florida on or about that date in 1513.
The idea was suggested by Mary Harrell, a Jacksonville social
studies teacher at John Gorrie Junior High School.