Each state in America boasts its own culture, history, and natural beauty. To represent such diversity, people from these states have chosen their own set of symbols and customs. Specific flags, songs, mottos, flowers, and even fruits commemorate the uniqueness of individual states. Some of these symbols border on the bizarre: Texas, for example, has made the Dutch oven its official state cooking pot. Other symbols are more universal, like state birds.
Many people remember learning about their states' history back in elementary school. But can you still remember your state bird? How about your state flower? To test your state knowledge, Stacker compiled a list of symbols in Oklahoma.
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Public Domain Pictures
Clue: Tall but paper-thin, anglers pursue these elegant and delicious fish in Oklahoma's rivers, ponds, and lakes. A fisherman will know they caught one by the fish’s distinctive horizontal black stripes.
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Eric Engbretson // Wikimedia Commons
Answer: White bass
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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock
Oklahoma has four state mammals, including the bison, Mexican free-tailed bat, and white-tailed deer. The fourth is a familiar masked creature that has adapted to living among us in cities and suburbs. They’re nocturnal and will eat almost anything—including the contents of our trash cans.
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- State mammals: Bison, Mexican free-tailed bat, raccoon, white-tailed deer
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Oklahoma’s original state song was “Oklahoma, a Toast,” from 1935 until 1953. That year, however, it was replaced with the current state song, which comes from a famous Broadway musical and was written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The state also recognizes a gospel song, a children’s song, a folk song, and a waltz.
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Public Domain // Wikimedia Commons
--- State song: "Oklahoma!"
--- Waltz: "Oklahoma Wind"
--- Folk song: "Oklahoma Hills"
--- Children's song: "Oklahoma, My Native Land"
--- Gospel song: "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"
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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock
State insect: This species is one of the most important pollinators of crops worldwide, helping to grow almonds, apples, and blueberries, among other foods. Pollinators prop up as much as $577 billion in food products, with this species alone offering a commercial value of many billions of dollars.
State butterfly: This insect is named after Polyxena, a figure from Greek mythology. It is common in the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains, in open habitats including fields and parks.
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Judy Gallagher // Wikimedia Commons
- State insect: European honey bee (Apis mellifera)
- State butterfly: Black swallowtail butterfly (Papilio polyxenes)
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Oklahoma’s state tree is native to the American Southwest, and is distinguishable by its leathery, heart-shaped dark green leaves and deep pink, red, and purple flowers which take over the trees in springtime. This tree became Oklahoma’s symbol thanks to the efforts of Maimee Lee Robinson Browne, who served as General Chairman of the state’s City Beautification Committee in the 1930s.
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BETTY // Wikimedia Commons
Answer: Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis)
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This strikingly beautiful and large bird makes this state its home base, where it is protected by law. Aside from being gorgeous to look at, this bird makes itself useful by eating harmful insects like grasshoppers and beetles.
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Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren // Wikimedia Commons
Answer: Scissor-tailed flycatcher
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National Archives at College Park // Wikimedia Commons
One of many flowers recognized with significance by Oklahoma, this specific flower was recognized by the state government in 2004. Known for its fragrance and beauty, this Oklahoma variation of a well-known flower is widely popular in gardening clubs around the state. With a deep-red pigmentation, its color is said to represent the bloodshed from the forced relocation of indigenous people in the 1800s.
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Jonathan Tommy // Flickr
Answer: Oklahoma rose