This is a list of state symbols for the US state of Ohio. The majority of these items are officially recognized by state law, having been ratified by an act of the Ohio General Assembly and executed by the governor's signature. These items can be found in the Ohio Revised Code, General Provisions, Chapter 5. Two of Ohio's official symbols have not been officially signed into law, but were made official through resolution in the Senate.
Adopted in 1959, the Ohio motto, With God, all things are possible, is a quotation taken from Matthew, 19:26. From 1865 until 1867, however, the motto was: Imperium in Imperio (Latin for "Empire within an Empire"). Too controversial for a post-Civil War society, it was repealed after two years.
The current official marketing slogan (as of 2008) is: Ohio—Birthplace of Aviation, in reference to Orville and Wilbur Wright, the inventing duo from Dayton who are credited with building the first successful airplane. A similar version of the slogan appears on Ohio's commemorative state quarter. In the case of the quarter, it reads: Birthplace of aviation pioneers. The addition of pioneers on the quarter's version, denotes space as well as air travel, as Ohio has been the birthplace of 24 NASA astronauts.
Since 1902, the Buckeye State has had a flag unique in design amongst its domestic counterparts. The Ohio swallowtail flag was designed by Cleveland architect John Eisenmann. The flag was first unveiled at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, a year before it was officially adopted by the Ohio General Assembly. Eisenmann himself explained the flags symbolism:
To commemorate the centennial of the flag In 2002, the General Assembly adopted The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of Ohio: I salute the flag of the state of Ohio and pledge to the Buckeye State respect and loyalty. The pledge was designed to be given by Ohio residents following the Pledge of Allegiance.
While it has been revised several times over the centuries, the Great Seal of Ohio currently features the following device, which closely resembles the design passed into law on March 25, 1803, by the first session of the General Assembly:
The sheaf of wheat represents Ohio's agriculture; the seventeen arrows for Ohio being the seventeenth state admitted into the Union; the Sun portrayed as rising is an allusion to coming wealth and prosperity; the mountains, over which the Sun is depicted, are symbolic of Ohio being the first state west of the Allegheny range. The Great Seal was inspired by the view of the Scioto River Valley from the Adena Mansion, the Chillicothe-area home of Ohio's sixth governor.
The official state tree of Ohio is the Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra). Perhaps the earliest example of what can be included as an official state symbol of Ohio was, at least until the mid-20th century, unofficial.
Ohio natives have long been referred to as Buckeyes, although the debate on when this exactly began is inconclusive. Historical sources point to at least two instances: the first of these involves Col. Ebenezer Sproat, the first sheriff in the Northwest Territory and Ohio Country in 1788. Sproat was dubbed hetuck (trans: buckeye) by the local Indians, whom he met with in Marietta and was ever after known as buckeye. The second notable occurrence—and arguably the more documented—began around the 1840 election of the one time army commander and eventual ill-fated 9th President of the United States, William Henry Harrison. Whig convention delegates for Harrison adorned themselves with various buckeye paraphernalia, which Harrison had chosen as his symbol.
The buckeye had also been the athletic nickname of the state's largest public university for decades before a 1953 act of the Ohio General Assembly recognized the Ohio buckeye as the official state tree.
The state flower of Ohio is the scarlet carnation. On February 3, 1904, the Ohio General Assembly passed a resolution providing for a state flower to be chosen. The act naming the Carnation as the state flower specified the scarlet carnation for the memory of William McKinley. McKinley, who was assassinated in 1901, was one of seven presidents born in Ohio. He was reported to have always worn a scarlet carnation in his lapel for good luck, after having received one—from his opponent—during his campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. He won the election, and wore a carnation thereafter.
The state wildflower of Ohio is the large white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum). In 1982, the Native Plant Society of Northeastern Ohio assembled with a goal of nominating and selecting a flower that was "native" to Ohio to unseat the scarlet carnation. On April 26, 1983, the group selected the large white trillium to take on the role as state wildflower, which they brought to state representatives in 1984. A year later, State Representative Bob Clark, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, sponsored a bill to name the large white trillium the official state wildflower of Ohio, leading the scarlet carnation as state flower.
Trillium was chosen by the Society because it was present in all 88 counties of Ohio, could be easily recognized, and was not endangered.
|Cardinal (C. cardinalis)||Ohio's state bird, the cardinal (C. cardinalis), was designated the state bird by the General Assembly in 1933. It was then listed as effective in the Ohio Revised Code in 1953.|
State animal – white-tailed deer
|The white-tailed deer (O. virginianus) became the official state animal in 1988.|
|The black racer became the state reptile in 1995.|
|The spotted salamander was made the state amphibian in 2010.|
|The American bullfrog was made the state frog in 2010.|
|The Ladybug was designated as the official state insect by Senate Concurrent Resolution 14, 111th General Assembly, 1975–1976 Session. It was designated Ohio's official insect by Public Chapter 896 of the 99th General Assembly. A specific species of the Family Coccinellidae was never designated Though some sources erroneously claimed the state insect was the 7-spotted ladybeetle, that is inaccurate. The Ohio Governor's page lists that the state insect is a ladybeetle is indigenous to Ohio, therefore ruling out the possibility of the state insect being the 7-Spot, which is an invasive species in Ohio native to Europe.|
|State fossil or
State invertebrate fossil
|The Isotelus maximus trilobite became the official state invertebrate fossil in 1985.|
|State vertebrate fossil or
State fossil fish
|The Dunkleosteus maximus placoderm fish became the official state fossil in 2021.|
|Ohio flint became the official state gem stone in 1965.|
|State Historical Architectural Structure|
|The barn, an agricultural building located on farms and used for many purposes, was designated the official historical architectural structure of the State of Ohio on March 20, 2019. Enacted by Senate Bill 86, 132nd General Assembly. The bill started as a middle school project by 4 Westerville teenagers that worked for 4 years to get the bill passed.|
|State prehistoric monument|
Tomatoes became the state fruit in 2009.
|Tomato juice became the state beverage through a bill passed in 1965.|
|Ohio's official groundhog is named Buckeye Chuck.|
|The USS Ohio is a ballistic missile submarine, which is not only the name of the ship, but the official name of the class of submarine as well.|
Ohio's official songs include:
In 1959, the General Assembly named Alliance the "Carnation City" of Ohio.
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