Mental Floss

The Quick 10: 10 Official State Insignia

Stacy Conradt
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Everyone knows that states have their own official flags, seals, flowers, songs, mottoes and so on. But some states have an official something for just about every category you can come up with. Here are a few facts that I found interesting"¦ hopefully you do, too.

1. Arkansas, California, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin are among the states that have declared milk their official state beverage. Alabama, on the other hand, went with Conecuh Ridge Whiskey.

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3. Kansas' state toy is the Etch-a-Sketch"¦ which is a registered trademark of the Ohio Art Company. The only other states to declare an official state toy are Pennsylvania (the Slinky) and Mississippi (the teddy bear).

4. North Carolina goes so far as to specify a state red berry.

Not just a fruit, not just a berry "“ a red berry. It's the strawberry, in case you were wondering. The state fruit is the Scuppernong Grape.

5. Oklahoma has declared all kinds of state foods. Here's the list: Barbequed pork, chicken fried steak, sausage, biscuits and gravy, fried okra, squash, grits, corn, black-eyed peas, cornbread, pecan pie, strawberries and watermelon (which they have declared the state vegetable).

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7. Texas is a big state, so I suppose it makes sense that it has a big list of state foods as well. It even differentiates between the Official State Pepper and the Official State Native Pepper: Jalapeno and chiltepin, respectively.

8. Utah's Official State Snack Food is Jell-O. They should use that in their marketing. "Jell-O: The Official Snack Food of Utah."

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10. Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Washington all lay claim to the Square Dance as the "Official State Dance". Wisconsin and Pennsylvania share the polka, Kentucky and North Carolina share clogging, and Louisiana and New York are in classes of their own with Second Line and the Lindy Hop, respectively. North Carolina also claims the Carolina Shag. Texas, you ask? The Texas Two-Step, of course.

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