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Nine Virginia State Symbols

From cardinals to brook trout, Virginia’s state symbols represent the cultural heritage & natural treasures of Old Dominion! How many of these 9 Virginia State symbols do you recognize?

1. Bird – Cardinal

Adopted 1950

One of America's favorite backyard birds; the northern cardinal is the official bird symbol of seven states. Northern cardinals are distinctive in appearance and song and both the male and female sing (few female songbird species sing in North America).


2. Flower – Dogwood

Adopted 1918

The dogwood is a small, deciduous tree with graceful branches that bloom in spring with large showy flowers (usually greenish-white, sometimes pink or yellow). The dogwood develops red berries in autumn, and the leaves also turn a deep red before falling for winter.

3. Dog – American Foxhound

Adopted 1966

George Washington, one of Virginia’s most illustrious citizens, imported fox hounds into the Commonwealth for hunting purposes. Today, all fox hounds are descendants of Washington’s dogs.

4. Freshwater Fish – Brook Trout

Adopted 1993


Brook trout, Virginia’s official State Freshwater Fish, is the only salmonid native to the state.  Virginia is also the state where the two primary strains of brook trout, Northern and Southern Appalachian, diverge, with the New River drainage in the southwestern part of the state being the line of demarcation.


5. Insect – Tiger Swallowtail Butterfl

Adopted 1991

Virginia's state insect is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and one of our biggest butterflies. Tiger Swallowtails are commonly found in deciduous woodlands and along their borders, including parks and neighborhoods, where they feed on the nectar of wild and garden flowers from Spring through Fall.


6. Drink – Milk

 Adopted 1982

22 states recognize milk as their official sate beverage, 13 of which introduced milk as their official beverage during the 1980s. The dairy industry was recovering from volatile overproduction and, as a result, dairy lobbyists worked closely with lawmakers to market milk as the most vital American beverage.

7. Rock – Nelsonite

Adopted 2016

Nelsonite has a unique historic role for Virginia, as it served as a key economic resource in the early 1900s after it was first discovered near Roseland in central Virginia.  Nelsonite’s type locality is Nelson County, Virginia and is one of the few rocks that is named after a state county.  Nelsonite is a distinctive is rich in both titanium and calcium phosphate.  The calcium phosphate was used as agricultural fertilizer and even as a filler for artificial teeth.

8. Snake - Eastern Garter Snake

Adopted 2016

The eastern garter snake is a common terrestrial snake that can be found throughout the eastern United States, including Virginia. Even if you don’t like snakes, seeing them around in your yard or neighborhood is a very good thing, because they are great for the ecosystem.

9. Bat - Virginia Big-Eared Bat

Adopted 2005

The Virginia Big-eared bat was recommended as Virginia’ state bat in 2005 based on its name and status as a federally endangered species. Today, only 10,000 Virginia Big-eared bats remain nationwide. The large ears, which it can fold tightly against its head, are this bat's most conspicuous feature.

Spot These State Symbols Near Metropolis at Innsbrook!

Be sure to keep an eye out for these state symbols next time you’re out exploring our great state of Virginia! You may even be able to spot a few of them right here in Innsbrook, home to our modern apartment homes.