Illinois Symbols

Illinois is a state with a rich history that is reflected in its symbolic logic. From its flag to its diverse selection of official flora and fauna, the state reflects its pride in many ways.

The state seal of Illinois is interesting as it actually reflects one of the conflicts that appeared while designing it. The state motto is "State Sovereignty, National Union", and the Secretary of State at the time, Sharon Tyndale, wanted to reverse the order in light of the only recently ended Civil War. While the reversal was not made, on the final version of the seal the first half of the motto is lower in the image and less readable than the second half. The rest of the seal shows a bald eagle carrying the banner in its mouth, perched atop a rock bearing the years 1818 and 1868 - the date that Illinois was established as a state and the date that the seal was adopted, respectively. A shield is under the eagle's claw, bearing the stars and stripes. The sun is rising in the background. The seal also appears on the state flag, along with the word Illinois.

Illinois boasts a large amount of official animals, plants, minerals, and more, representing the diversity of the state's ecosystem. Its official bird and butterfly are both beautiful, vivid creatures - respectively the Northern Cardinal and the Monarch Butterfly. The state flower is similarly vivid and beautiful, being the violet. Its official animal overall is the White-Tailed Deer, representing the forest life present in Illinois. The state mineral is the lovely stone fluorite, which comes in an amazing variety of colors ranging from greens to purples. The state folk dance is the well-known square dance. The state tree is the majestic white oak.

The state also, of course, has a state song. Titled simply Illinois and written by Charles H. Chamberlain, the song discusses the geography, commerce, and history of Illinois. It exhorts the country's prairies and rivers, emphasizing their beauty. They also discuss the role of commerce in Illinois, describing "all the world" turning to Illinois. The song concludes by discussing the important figures to emerge from Illinois, including Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and John Logan. The song is a stirring tribute to Illinois in all its aspects.

In conclusion, Illinois' symbols and iconography reflect the history and the culture of this great state.