Friday, December 19, 2008

Flags: State of Arizona

I'll begin the state flags series with my favorite, the copper-colored banner of the State of Arizona. According to the Arizona State Capitol Museum web site, the thirteen alternating red and yellow rays represent the original thirteen colonies, the red and yellow flag of the Spanish conquistadors, and the western sun. The copper-colored star reminds us that the Grand Canyon State is the nation's leading producer of copper. Finally, the bottom half of the flag is the same shade as the union on the US flag.

More importantly, though, it just looks good. It's distinctive, visually appealing, and it complements the national flag nicely.

The awesomeness of Arizona's state symbols doesn't end there, though:
  • The state mammal is the ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), also known as the ringtail cat or miner's cat, a small raccoon-like creature which can rotate its ankles over 180 degrees.
  • The song of the state bird, the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus), has been described as similar to an automobile engine turning over. It's uncanny. Have a listen at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology library.
  • The official state neckwear, the bolo (or bola) tie, reminds me of my grandfather, who became fond of them upon retiring to the Valley of the Sun.
  • Petrified wood, the state fossil, is both beautiful and scientifically interesting.
...and I didn't even mention the Apache trout, ridge-nosed rattlesnake, and Arizona treefrog! Maybe my expatriate Arizonan cousins will have something to add.

1 comment:

Nancy Campbell said...

And, and (!) AZ statehood day is Feb 14th, aka Valentine's Day. For the many years when I did NOT have a valentine, and wore black to be oh-so-rebellious-and-above-it-all, I could say that I was celebrating AZ statehood day, not that that dreadful Valentine's day.