There were once many elk and moose in Michigan.
The eagle represents the United States, strength and pride. In one of the
eagle's claws are arrows and in the other an olive branch. The arrows symbolize war, but the olive branch is a symbol for peace.
All of the words on the flag are in Latin.
The motto over the eagle is that of the United States ("We the People").
The state motto at the feet of the animals means "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you".
On the shield, the word Tuebor means "I will defend".
The picture on the shield shows an early settler standing on a peninsula.
He has a rifle in one hand, which symbolizes that he is ready to defend his home, but his right hand is raised as a gesture of peace.
The symbols on the Michigan flag are also on the Great Seal of Michigan. Originally adopted at the Constitutional Convention in 1835, the seal, in its present form was adopted by the State Legislator in 1911.
The robin is the best known and most loved of all
birds in Michigan.
The robin redbreast became the official State Bird on May 21, 1931.
The apple blossom is one of the most fragrant and
beautiful flowered species in
Michigan. It has been the State Flower since April 28, 1897.
The towering white pine is a symbol of one of
Michigan's greatest industries - lumbering. It has been the
official State Tree since March 4, 1955. On Arbor
Day in 1955 small white pines were planted in the Capitol lawn.
The painted turtle became Michigan's State Reptile in 1995. It lives in shallow waters throughout the state. In the cold winter months it buries itself in the mud and hibernates. The painted turtle is as small as four inches long to as large as ten inches. It has yellow and red markings on its head, legs, and shell.
The Petoskey stones are actually parts of a coral-reef that existed during prehistoric times in the northern Lower Peninsula. The living corals died and became large fossil reefs. Petoskey stones are most often found along the shorelines of Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and inland lakes. Michigan adopted the Petoskey Stone as the official state stone in 1965.
Chlorastrolite is also known as greenstone or Isle Royal greenstone. It ranges in color from yellow-green to almost black. It is mostly found in the Northern Michigan's "copper country", particularly on Isle Royal. Chlorastrolite was named official state gem in 1972.
Michigan chose the trout as the official State Fish in
1965 but the species Brook Trout was not named the
official State Fish until 1988. The trout lives in many of Michigan's lakes, rivers, and streams.
Michigan has more than 500 different kinds of soil. The Kalkaska soil series is found in both the upper and the lower peninsulas. Kalkaska sand has layers ranging in color from black to yellowish brown. Kalkaska sand was made the official State Soil in 1990.
How Michigan became
known as "the Wolverine State" is not known for sure.
There are many theories. It is not even known for sure if the
wolverine was ever present in Michigan. If it was, there were not
very many of them.
The wolverine is the largest member of the weasel family at 35 to 44 inches long. It is a very vicious and destructive animal.