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Colorado State Symbols

Each state in the United States of America is unique. The people and legislature of Colorado have selected the following state symbols to represent their state's individual environment and culture.

The Colorado State Seal

[Image of The Colorado State Seal]

The Seal of the State of Colorado is an adaptation of the Territorial Seal which was adopted by the First Territorial Assembly on November 6, 1861. The only changes made in the Territorial Seal design being the substitution of the words, "State of Colorado" and the figures "1876" for the corresponding inscriptions on the territorial seal.

The first General Assembly of the State of Colorado official the adoption of the state seal on March 15, 1877. The Colorado Secretary of State alone is authorized to affix the Great Seal of Colorado to any document whatsoever.

At the top is the eye of God within a triangle, from which golden rays radiate on two sides. Below the eye is a scroll, the Roman fasces, a bundle of birch or elm rods with a battle axe bound together by red thongs and bearing on a band of red, white and blue, the word, "Union and Constitution." The Roman fasces is the insignia of a republican form of government.

The bundle of rods bound together symbolizes strength, which is lacking in the single rod. The axe symbolizes authority and leadership. Below the scroll is the heraldic shield bearing across the top on a red ground three snow-capped mountains with clouds above them. The lower half of the shield has two miner's tools, the pick and sledge hammer, crossed on a golden ground. Below the shield in a semicircle is the motto, "Nil Sine Numine", Latin words meaning "nothing without the Deity", and at the bottom the figures 1876, the year Colorado came into statehood.

The design for the Territorial Seal, which served as a model for the State Seal or Great Seal of Colorado, has been variously credited, but the individual primarily responsible was Lewis Ledyard Weld, the Territorial Secretary, appointed by President Lincoln in July of 1861. There is also evidence that Territorial Governor William Gilpin also was at least partially responsible for the design. Both Weld and Gilpin were knowledgeable in the art and symbolism of heraldry. Elements of design from both the Weld and Gilpin family coat-of-arms are incorporated in the Territorial Seal.

The 50 State Seals

The Colorado State Flag

[Image of The Colorado State Flag]

The Colorado State Flag consists of three alternate stripes of equal width and at right angles to the staff, the two outer stripes to be blue of the same color as in the blue field of the national flag and the middle stripe to be white, the proportion of the flag being a width of two-thirds of its length.

At a distance from the staff end of the flag of one fifth of the total length of the flag, there is a circular red C, of the same color as the red in the national flag of the United States. The diameter of the letter is two-thirds of the width of the flag. The inner line of the opening of the letter C is three-fourths of the width of its body or bar, and the outer line of the opening is double the length of the inner line thereof.

Completely filling the open space inside the letter C is a golden disk, attached to the flag is a cord of gold and silver, intertwined, with tassels, one of gold and one of silver.

The 50 State Flags

Other State Symbols

  • Bird: Lark Bunting
  • Fish: Greenback Cutthroat Trout
  • Flower: Rocky Mountain Columbine
  • Fossil: Stegosaurus
  • Gemstone: Aquamarine
  • Grass: Blue Grama Grass
  • Insect: Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly
  • Mammal: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
  • Mineral: Rhodochrosite
  • Motto: Nil Sine Numine (Nothing Without Providence)
  • Nickname: Centennial State
  • Reptile: Western Painted Turtle
  • Rock: Yule Marble
  • Slogan: Colorful Colorado
  • Soil: Seitz
  • Tartan: Colorado State Tartan
  • Tree: Colorado Blue Spruce
  • Songs: Where the Columbines Grow, Rocky Mountain High

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