How many state mottos, nicknames and slogans do you know?

By: Maria Trimarchi
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

All of the 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) have a state motto (some adopted by an official state legislature, while others are adopted by the residents), And most also have a state nickname and a state slogan, too -- and sometimes, more than one per state. You might know your state's from its flag, seal or license plates. But how much do you know about the other 49 states?

Texas' state flower is a bluebonnet. Its state dish is chili. And its state motto is, what?

Texas' state motto has been simply Friendship since 1930.

Which state is this tourism slogan from? "The spirit of ____ is the spirit of America."

"The spirit of Massachusetts is the spirit of America, the spirit of the red, white, and blue ..." This is from a jingle for the Spirit of Massachusetts tourism campaign from the 1980s and is also the slogan on Massachusetts' license plates.

Which slogan is not one of the many used by the state of Delaware?

While it's probably best known as the First State, Delaware is also known as the Blue Hen Chicken State, as their state bird is the Blue Hen Chicken. And while obscure, Uncle Sam's Pocket Handkerchief has been describing the state since the 1800s. Little Rhody, though, belongs to Rhode Island.

Indiana has one state motto. Which is it?

While these are all great slogans, only one motto belongs to Indiana -- and that's The Hoosier State. The origins of "hoosier" are debated, but it's been in use since at least 1833, where it's used in John Finley's poem called The Hoosier's Nest.

Which of these slogans is not about the state of Michigan?

Michigan has a few different slogans, including the Great Lakes State, the Mitten State and the Wolverine State. But it's not the Land of Lakes state -- that's Minnesota.

Which Colorado state nickname is no longer used?

None of these three state nicknames are used much these days. Colorado has had a number of nicknames over the years and others that are no longer in current use include the Buffalo Plains State, Colorful Colorado, the Lead State and the Silver State.

Which New England state motto is Live Free or Die?

Live Free or Die, New Hampshire's state motto, was said in a toast by Revolutionary War hero (and New Hampshire resident) Gen. John Stark: Live free or die; death is not the worst of evils.

Which state is nicknamed the Land of the Midnight Sun?

Roughly one-third of Alaska lies above the Arctic Circle, and that means some very long daylight hours in the summertime. Fairbanks, for instance, has only four hours of sunlight on the winter solstice, but as many as 21 hours of sunlight on summer solstice (and Barrow is north enough to have sun for 24 hours on the summer solstice).

Which Southern state is known as the Heart of Dixie?

Alabama, known as the Cotton State and the Yellowhammer State, is also known as the the Heart of Dixie. A good, yet unofficial, slogan based on its geographical location in the Southern states.

The Constitution State, Connecticut, has also been known by which state nickname?

Over the years, Connecticut has been known as the Nutmeg State, the Blue Law State and the Land of Steady Habits, as well as the Freestone State.

Which exclamation is California's state motto?

"Eureka!” ("I've found it!" -- and "it" is gold.) Eureka! has been the official state motto of California since 1963 and unofficially since gold was discovered near Sutter's Mill in 1848.

Which Southern state has two official mottos, both in Latin?

South Carolina is one of a handful of states that has more than one motto. Except South Carolina's mottos, 1. Dum spiro spero (While I breathe, I hope) and 2. Animis opibusque parati (Ready in soul and resource), are both in Latin.

Why is Arizona known as the Valentine State?

The Valentine State makes sense when you know Arizona officially became a state on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1912.

Which of these California state nicknames was the state's first?

Known today as the Golden State, California's first state nickname was the Eldorado State, after it was discovered you could mine for gold there.

Which Midwestern state is the Mount Rushmore State?

Because it is home to Mount Rushmore and the national memorial featuring 60-foot sculpted faces of U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and George Washington, South Dakota's nickname is the Mount Rushmore State. You may also hear it, less frequently, called the Coyote State, after its state animal, the coyote.

Which is not Pennsylvania's current state slogan?

You've Got a Friend in Pennsylvania debuted in 1980 as a marketing slogan to boost tourism -- and may be the state's most well-known slogan. It went on to appear on the state's license plates from 1983 through 1999 as well as in media marketing opportunities (such as billboards and TV ads). The current state slogan -- Pennsylvania. Pursue Your Happiness -- was unveiled in 2016.

Maine's motto, the Latin word "Dirigo," appears on the state's coat of arms, flag and state seal. What does Dirigo mean?

Maine, the Pine Tree State, uses the Latin word Dirigo, which means "I lead," as its official state motto.

Which has never been a slogan on Utah license plates?

Utah has had many state slogans appear on its license plates, beginning with Center Scenic America, in 1941, to Life Elevated, available today.

Why the "fourteenth star" in Vermont's state motto, the Latin phrase "Stella quarta decima fulgeat" (May the fourteenth star shine bright)?

Vermont is the "fourteenth star" because it was the 14th state to gain statehood. The motto, which first appeared on copper coins of the Vermont Republic in the 18th century, became the state motto in 2015.

What friendly slogan is on Georgia's highway welcome signs? Welcome to Georgia -- State of ____.

Georgia, the Peach State (and sometimes the Goober State in reference to the peanut growers in the state), welcomes you to the state with signs reading Welcome to Georgia -- State of Adventure.

America's Dairyland has been on its state license plates since 1939, but what is considered Wisconsin's nickname?

Historically Wisconsin was nicknamed the Copper State. Today, although it uses America's Dairyland on its license plates, it goes by the nickname of the Badger State.

Big Sky State Montana is known as the last what?

Once known as the Land of the Shining Mountains, Montana is today given the slogan The Last Best Place.

What is the official slogan for New York state?

New York's state slogan has been, since 1977, I Love New York. There's also a song, "I Love New York," that's the state song.

Which state pays homage to the Wright brothers with their state slogans, North Carolina or Ohio?

Both North Carolina and Ohio claim Orville and Wilbur Wright as their own. The Wright brothers were from Dayton, Ohio, and Ohio's license plate slogan is Birthplace of Aviation. North Carolina, where the Wright brothers made the first successful flight at Kitty Hawk, celebrate with the slogan First in Flight on its license plates.

Since 1969, what has been the tourism slogan for Virginia?

The Virginia is for Lovers tourism slogan has been in use since 1969, when it ran for the first time in an issue of Modern Bride. In 2009 the now-iconic slogan was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame.

Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono, which means the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness, is the state motto for which island state?

Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono, which means the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness, is Hawaii's state motto.

Not all state mottos are in English. Which state uses this French slogan, L'étoile du Nord, which means the star of the North?

The French slogan L'étoile du Nord, which means the star of the North, has been Minnesota's state motto since 1861 and is the only state with a French motto.

Which state is known for its Famous Potatoes slogan?

Idaho is famous for potatoes, and its state slogans reflect that. This famous, but former, Idaho slogan was replaced with: Great Potatoes. Tasty Destinations. More recently, the state adopted the non-potato slogan Adventures in Living.

In 2006, New Jersey adopted the slogan Come See For Yourself, submitted by a state resident. What professionally-designed slogan did the state reject?

After determining the ad agency-created slogan We'll Win You Over was too negative for his state, the governor of New Jersey announced the state's slogan would be Come See For Yourself.

Mount Sunflower is the highest point in the state of Kansas. Sunflowers are the state flower. And what is the state nickname?

Kansas, one of the states in the American heartland, is known as the Sunflower State.

The square dance has been its state folk dance since 1980, officially. And its state rifle, designated in 2016, is the Barrett M82/M107. What's Tennessee's state nickname?

For the last 200 years, since the War of 1812, Tennessee's been known as the Volunteer State -- allegedly because Tennesseeans were quick wartime volunteers.

Louisiana's state jelly is Mayhaw. And its state song is "You Are My Sunshine." What's its state motto?

Louisana's state seal includes the motto, Union, Justice, Confidence and has since its adoption in 1902.

Which state's motto -- Fatti maschii, parole femine -- is the only state motto in Italian?

Maryland's state motto -- Fatti maschii, parole femine -- means "Manly deeds, womanly words" in English. Montana's motto is also in a foreign language: Oro y plata, which is Spanish and means "gold and silver."

Which is, or has been, a nickname of the United States itself?

The United States has been known by Columbia since the 17th century, but the nickname first appeared in print in 1738. The U.S. has also gone by the nickname Uncle Sam, coined after the War of 1812 and used often in reference to the U.S. government. And, like the others, Brother Jonathan was a personification, an emblem, of the U.S. -- although he began as an emblem of New England during the Revolutionary War.

In God We Trust is the official motto of ____.

On July 30, 1956, President Eisenhower signed into law In God We Trust as the motto of the United States.

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