List of Indiana state symbols

The U.S. state of Indiana has 17 official state emblems, as well as other designated official and unofficial items. The majority of the symbols in the list are officially recognized and created by an act of the Indiana General Assembly and signed into law by the governor. They are listed in Indiana Code Title 1, Article 2, State Emblems which also regulates the appearance and applicable use of the items.[1]

Location of the state of Indiana in the United States, highlighted in red.

Compared to other states, Indiana has few official symbols. The first symbol was the Seal of Indiana, which was made official in 1801 for the Indiana Territory and again in 1816 by the state of Indiana.[2] It served as the state's only emblem for nearly a century until the adoption of the state song in 1913.[3] For many years, Indiana was the only state without a flag. The official state banner was adopted in 1917, and renamed the state flag in 1955.[4] The newest symbol of Indiana is state fossil, mastodon, which was declared in 2022.[5]


Type Symbol Description Adopted Image Ref.
Flag Flag of Indiana Indiana's flag has a blue background with a torch in the center. The torch is surrounded by nineteen stars: the thirteen in the outer ring representing the original colonies, the five in the inner ring representing the next five states admitted (prior to Indiana), and the one on top of the torch representing Indiana. 1917 [6]
Motto The Crossroads of America Indiana is the site of many cross-country roads, including the National Road and U.S. Route 41. 1937 [7]
Seal Seal of Indiana Indiana's seal depicts a setting sun, sycamore trees, a woodsman, and a jumping bison. 1816 [8]


Type Symbol Description Adopted Image Ref.
Bird Northern cardinal
(Cardinalis cardinalis)[A]
The male cardinal is bright red and the female is brown and dull red. They live in Indiana year-round. 1933 [9]
Flower Peony
The peony is a red, pink, or white flower that blooms in late May. It is grown throughout Indiana. 1957 [10]
Fossil Mastodon
(Mammut americanum)
Mastodons roamed Indiana starting about 2.5 million years ago and became extinct about 10,500 years ago. Mastodons are now the most common Ice Age fossil found in Indiana. 2022 [11][5]
Insect Say's firefly
(Pyractomena angulata)
The males of this flying beetle species produce amber flashes of light at night to attract mates. It is named for New Harmony, Indiana naturalist Thomas Say. 2018 [12]
Tree Tulip tree
(Liriodendron tulipifera)
The tulip tree is also called the yellow poplar. It has a distinctive leaf shape and yellow, bell-shaped flowers. It is a tall tree and grows throughout Indiana. 1931 [13]


Type Symbol Description Adopted Image Ref.
River Wabash River Beginning near the Ohio–Indiana border, the Wabash flows for more than 500 miles (800 km) across Northern Indiana, turning southward where it forms a portion of the Illinois–Indiana border. It is the second largest tributary to the Ohio River and is the longest segment of free-flowing river east of the Mississippi River. 1996 [14][15]
Stone Indiana limestone The Indiana variety of limestone, also called Salem or Bedford, is significantly quarried in south-central Indiana. It is a high-quality stone used in the construction of many prominent civic buildings across the U.S., including the Empire State Building and the Pentagon. A sculpture commemorating the state stone sits in the Indiana Statehouse. 1971 [16]


Type Symbol Description Adopted Image Ref.
Aircraft Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Hoosier Spirit II The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a World War II-era fighter aircraft manufactured at Republic Aviation's Evansville, Indiana, plant. In 2021, the statute was amended to specifically designate the Hoosier Spirit II, one of 6,242 aircraft built at the plant. Hoosier Spirit II is displayed at the Evansville Wartime Museum. 2015 [17][18]
Firearm Grouseland Rifle The Grouseland Rifle is a long rifle crafted in the early-1800s by gunsmith John Small for then-governor of the Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison. The firearm is displayed in Vincennes, Indiana, at its namesake Grouseland. 2012 [19]
Languages English
American Sign Language
English is the native language of over 95% of the state's residents. 1984
Poem "Indiana" "Indiana" is by Arthur Franklin Mapes, the former Indiana State Poet Laureate. The poem describes the state's natural beauty. 1963 [21]
Poet laureate Matthew Graham 2005 [22]
Snack Indiana grown popcorn According to the USDA, Indiana was the nation's largest popcorn producer in 2021. Nearly 100,000 acres (40,000 ha) were devoted to growing popcorn (particularly in White and Pulaski counties) valued at US$100 million. Orville Redenbacher's and Pop Weaver are popular popcorn brands originated in Indiana. 2021 [23][24][25]
Song "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away" The song was written and composed by songwriter Paul Dresser reminiscing about his childhood home along the Wabash River in Terre Haute, Indiana. 1913 [26]

Unofficial symbols and unsuccessful proposals

While most states have an official nickname, the Indiana General Assembly never officially adopted one. Indiana's unofficial nickname is "The Hoosier State".[7] A word of unknown origin, Hoosier is the official demonym for the people of Indiana.[27] The state has had several unofficial marketing slogans through the years, including "Restart Your Engines" (2006–2014), "Honest-to-Goodness Indiana" (2014–2022),[28] and most recently, "IN Indiana".[29]

Indiana's unofficial state soil, Miami, is a brown silt loam found widely across the state. The soil is productive for cultivation, contributing to the state's robust agricultural economy. The Indiana Senate approved a resolution naming water as the official state beverage in 2007.[30] Sugar cream pie (or "Hoosier Pie") was designated the "unofficial state pie" in 2009.[31]


A At the time, the northern cardinal's scientific name was Richmondena Cardianalis Cardinalis. It was changed in 1983.[32]
B From 1923 to 1931, the state flower was the flower of the tulip tree. From 1931 to 1957, the state flower was the Zinnia.[33]

See also


  1. "IC 1-2". Indiana Code. Indiana Office of Code Revision. Archived from the original on November 18, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
  2. "Indiana's State Seal—An Overview". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  3. Henderson, Clayton W. "Paul Dresser". Indiana Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  4. "Indiana's State Banner". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  5. "Indiana lawmakers name mastodon as first state fossil". WFYI. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  6. "Indiana State Flag". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  7. "State emblems". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
  8. "Indiana State Seal". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  9. "Indiana State Bird". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  10. "Indiana State Flower". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  11. "Indiana lawmakers name mastodon as first state fossil". WHAS-TV. Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  12. "Say's Firefly to become state insect after bill lights its way through the Indiana House". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  13. "Indiana State Tree". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  14. "Indiana State River". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  15. Wabash River Watershed Section 729 Initial Watershed Assessment (PDF) (Report). US Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District. December 2011. p. 5. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  16. "Indiana State Stone". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  17. "P-47 Thunderbolt Named Official State Aircraft of Indiana". WFIE-TV. June 24, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  18. "New look unveiled for Evansville's P-47, Hoosier Spirit II". WEHT. May 7, 2021. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  19. Evans, Tim (February 16, 2016). "Replica of Grouseland Rifle, the official state gun, commissioned for bicentennial". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  20. "Indiana State Language". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  21. "Indiana State Poem". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  22. Brinkman, Joyce (July 8, 2021). "Indiana Poet Laureate". IAC. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  23. Mills, Wes (July 2, 2021). "It's Official: Popcorn is Indiana's State Snack". Inside Indiana Business. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  24. Quinlan, Erica (January 13, 2022). "Pop-ular popcorn: Indiana a top producing popcorn state". Shaw Media. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  25. "News Release: 2021 Indiana Popcorn Production" (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service Great Lakes Region. January 12, 2022. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  26. "Indiana State Song". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  27. Groppe, Maureen (January 12, 2017). "Don't Call Them Indianians; They're Hoosiers". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  28. Sikich, Chris (February 13, 2014). "'Honest-to-Goodness Indiana' too wholesome?". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  29. Kane, Lizzie (June 8, 2022). "'IN Indiana': State launches tourism campaign following height of COVID-19 pandemic". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  30. "Senate Resolution 20, 2007". Indiana General Assembly. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  31. "Senate Resolution 59, 2009". Indiana General Assembly. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  32. Ritchison, Gary (1997). Wild bird guides. Stackpole Books. p. 2. ISBN 0-8117-3100-6. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
  33. "State Tree of Indiana". Indiana Woodland Steward. Purdue University. Archived from the original on 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2007-11-23.

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