Florida State Symbols

By James | Last updated May 10, 2024

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Like all US States, Florida has its fair share of State symbols, everything from its own flag and song to orange juice, the alligator and the manatee.

The mosquito is often jokingly referred to as the state bird but it reality it is the Northern Mockingbird

Below you will find a list of mostly official Florida state symbols:

  • Animal- Florida Panther (Felis concolor coryi)
  • Anthem – “Florida, Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky”
  • Beverage – Orange juice
  • Bird – Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), shared with Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas who all have the same state bird
  • Butterfly – Zebra longwing
  • Capital – Tallahassee
  • Flag – A red diagonal cross on a white background, with the State Seal of Florida superimposed on the centre
  • Flower – Orange blossom (Citrus sinensis)
  • Fossil – Eupatagus, an extinct type of sand dollar (unofficial)
  • Fruit – Orange
  • Gem – Moonstone
  • Freshwater Fish – Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus)
  • Insect – Zebra longwing butterfly (Heliconius charitonius)
  • Mammal – see Animal above
  • Marine Mammal – Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)
  • Motto – “In God we trust”
  • Nickname – “The Sunshine State” or “Peninsula State”
  • Pie – Key lime pie
  • Play – “Cross and Sword”
  • Poem – “I Am Florida”
  • Quarter – issued in 2004 with the inscription “Gateway to Discovery”. The Florida State Quarter features the Sabal palm, a space shuttle and a 16th-century Spanish galleon commemorating the discovery of Florida by the Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon
  • Reptile – American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
  • Saltwater Fish – Atlantic Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus)
  • Saltwater Mammal – Porpoise/Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncates)
  • Seal – Great Seal of the State of Florida, featuring the state Motto – “In God we trust” plus a Native American Seminole woman scattering flowers, a cabbage palmetto tree, a paddle steamboat and a brilliant sun. This represents the land of sunshine, flowers, palm trees, rivers and lakes
  • Shell – Horse Conch (Pleuroploca gigantea)
  • Soil – Myakka Fine Sand
  • Song – “Suwanee River”, also known as “Old Folks at Home” plus “I Am Florida”
  • Stone – Agatized coral
  • Tree – Sabal palm (Sabal palmetto), features on the Florida quarter
  • Wild Flower – Coreopsis spp. L. (Tickseed)

Changes afoot

In recent years there has been public pressure to consider changing a couple of Florida’s state symbols.

There was a petition before the State Legislature of Florida to name the endangered Florida Scrub Jay as the State Bird of Florida. Like other state symbols such as the manatee and alligator, the Florida Scrub Jay is suffering from a loss of habitat and what is more, the Northern Mockingbird is already the state bird for a number of other states.

The bill passed in a Senate committee but has not been put before either the House or the Senate for a vote.

A competition also came up with an alternative state song to replace the somewhat out of keeping “Suwanee River” written in 1851 but in 2008, the Legislature decided to keep the same song but amend the lyrics.

In 2013, the ballad “I Am Florida” was also designated an official state song, as a companion song to “Suwanee River”.