List: California's Many State Symbols in Photos

It's well known that the grizzly bear is California's state animal -- it's right there lumbering across the state flag. But what about some of the state's lesser-known symbols?

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Since in became a state in 1850, California has acquired a long list of official symbols.
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Listed under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species, the red-legged frog is known for its appearance in "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain. It's primarily found along the coast from Marin County to northern Baja California.
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You'll recognize this symbol from California's state flag. Designated in 1953, the grizzly is actually extinct in the wild of California. The last one is believed to have been killed in August 1922 in Tulare County. This bear is pictured at an exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo May 18, 2007.
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In this photo, California quail move through the hills of the largest urban park in the nation, Griffith Park on May 14, 2007 in Los Angeles. The plump gray quail became the state's official bird in 1931.
Blue represents the blue sky. Gold represents the mineral gold. The colors were used by the Secretary of State for ribbons with the state seal in the early 1900s. The combination became the state colors in 1951. In this photo, the California state flag is seen before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 18, 2018 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
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Popularized in the 1930s in California, this form of dance became the state dance in 1988.
Rep. Richard Bloom
Assemblymember RIchard Bloom introduced a bill to make Augustynolophus morrisi the state dinosaur, which it became in 2017. The dinosaur lived about 66 million years ago in what is now California's Central Valley. Fossils were first unearthed in 1939 in Fresno County.
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Denim is California's state fabric. It's strong connection with the state dates to when it was worn by workers in the Gold Rush era. In the late 1800s, San Francisco's Levi Strauss joined Nevada tailor Jacob Davis in obtaining a patent for an "Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings." Their waist overalls were a success, one of many for California is the denim business.
California's state fish in the golden trout, so deemed in 1947. It was originally found only in a few streams stemming from the Kern River, but stocking has increased its range. California also has a state marine fish, the golden orange fish.
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The history of the official flag of California dates to 1846, when California was still a territory of Mexico. A group of settlers took over the Mexican garrison at Sonoma, where they raised a hastily designed flag featuring a grizzly bear and lone star. California was declared a state four years later, but the successor to the original bear flag was not adopted by the State Legislature until 1911.
California's state flower is the unmistakably vibrant poppy. Its celebrated spring bloom dazzles, leaving hillsides bathed in bright colors. The poppy grows throughout the state and became the state flower in 1903. It even has its own day (April 6) and week (May 13-18) as proclaimed by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1996.
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Another symbol stemming from California's Gold Rush era, square dancing is California's state folk dance.
The saber-toothed cat is California's state fossil. The prehistoric big cat with vicious looking eight-inch upper canines was adopted by state law in 1973. It was common in California about 11,000 to 10,000 years ago with fossils turning up in the Rancho La Brea area of Los Angeles.
CA Dept of Conservation
Also called the blue diamond, benitoite was first found near the headwaters of the Central Coast's San Benito River -- hence, the name. It was designated in 1985.
The National Historic Site once had a population around 10,000, but now sits preserved as a ghost town northeast of Yosemite National Park. The town remains as it was when the last resident left. Gold was discovered there in 1859 and the town boomed by 1880. It was designated in 2002.
Laura Neveau
Designated in 2004, purple needlegrass grows in bunches throughout California. It's an important part of the region's wildlife, providing a key food source. It's also a hardy plant, capable of surviving drought and heat.
Alan Schmierer, Flickr
California's state insect is the dogface butterfly, designated in 1972. Found only in California, the butterfly is so-named because males have yellow silhouettes of what appear to be a dog head on their wings. You'll find them in the Sierra Nevada Mountain foothills to ranges along the coast, and from Somona County to San Diego.
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A garibaldi, California's State Marine Fish, is pictured in the Kelp Forest exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The brilliant orange fish is found in shallow waters off Southern California and Mexico.
NOAA Fisheries
California's marine mammal is the majestic gray whale, seen here in a NOAA photo migrating along the California coast on their way to summer feeding grounds in the Arctic. The 20- to 40-ton behemoths travel south from December through February in groups along the coast. In March and April, they head north. It was designated in 1975.
Justin Rudd
The Pacific leatherback has been around for about 70 million years and became the state's official marine mammal in 2012. Weighing up to 2,000 pounds, the sea turtle with a leathery shell can dive deep into ocean waters.
California's state mineral is gold, due to the gold rush of the mid-1800s that was a key part of the state's history and growth. In this photo taken Tuesday, March 4, 2014 Tim Amavisca and his daughter Hailey pan for gold along the Bear River near Colfax, California (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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California's well-known motto is "Eureka." It means, "I have found it," likely referring to the discovery of gold. It has appeared on the state seal since 1849. There was an effort to make "In God We Trust" as the state motto, but "Eureka" became official in 1963.
Golden sunsets, golden poppies and gold mines are some of the reasons California's state nickname is the Golden State. It was bestowed on California in 1968.
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Nut-growing is so important to California, the state decided in 2017 to designated four state nuts -- the almond, walnut, pistachio and pecan. In this photo, almond trees are seen on April 23, 2015 in Firebaugh, California.
One of California's more unusual symbols is the state prehistoric artifact, the chipped stone bear. The piece of volcanic rock was unearthed in 1985 during an archaeological dig in Carlsbad. It is a 2.5-by-1.5-inch piece shaped like a bear, likely created about 7,000 to 8,000 years ago.
US Mint
The California State Quarter was released in January 2005. It features naturalist John Muir with Yosemite Valley's granite head wall and a California condor soaring overhead.
Reed Saxon/AP Images
California's state reptile is the desert tortoise, like this one pictured here in 2008 sitting in a road in the eastern Mojave Desert near Ivanpah, California. With a top speed of about 20 feet per minutes, the tortoise won't win many races, but this vegetarian doesn't need speed to find food. It was designated in 1972.
National Park Service
Serpentine is the State Rock of California. It's pictured here close up (inset) and on an outcrop in Golden Gate Park. Serpentine is a shiny green and blue rock found throughout California, which has more minerals and a wider variety of rocks that any other state. It was designated in 1965.
State of California
The Great Seal of California, featuring the state motto, was adopted at the Constitutional Convention of 1849. It shows Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom with a grizzly bear. In the background, a miner appears to be working on the shores of the Sacramento River with the Sierra Nevada Mountains rising beyond.
San Bernardino County
The town of Calico in San Bernardino County is California's State Silver Rush Ghost Town. Near Barstow, it was designated in 2005 in recognition of a major silver strike in 1881. It was acquired by the owner of Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park in the 1950s and many of the buildings were preserved.
"I Love You California" was written by F.B. Silverwood, a successful Los Angeles clothier, and set to music by the conductor of the Orpheum Theater Orchestra, A.F. Frankenstein. Here are the lyrics:nI.nI love you, California, you're the greatest state of all.nI love you in the winter, summer, spring and in the fall.nI love your fertile valleys; your dear mountains I adore.nI love your grand old ocean and I love her rugged shore. ChorusnWhere the snow crowned Golden SierrasnKeep their watch o'er the valleys bloom,nIt is there I would be in our land by the sea,nEvery breeze bearing rich perfume.nIt is here nature gives of her rarest. It is Home Sweet Home to me,nAnd I know when I die I shall breathe my last sighnFor my sunny California. II.nI love your red-wood forests - love your fields of yellow grain.nI love your summer breezes and I love your winter rain.nI love you, land of flowers; land of honey, fruit and wine.nI love you, California; you have won this heart of mine. III.nI love your old gray Missions - love your vineyards stretching far.nI love you, California, with your Golden Gate ajar.nI love your purple sun-sets, love your skies of azure blue.nI love you, California; I just can't help loving you. IV.nI love you, Catalina, you are very dear to me.nI love you, Tamalpais, and I love Yosemite.nI love you, Land of Sunshine, Half your beauties are untold.nI loved you in my childhood, and I'll love you when I'm old.
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A recent addition to this lengthy list, surfing became the state sport in August 2018. In this photo, Sage Erickson surfs en route to winning her women's heat in the first round of the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach, California on July 25, 2016.
The tall ship Californian is seen alongside the Lynx at the San Diego Maritime Museum. The ship was built in 1984 at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay and launched for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In July 2003, she became California's official tall ship. The Californian is a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter CW Lawrence, a ship that patrolled the California coast during the gold rush.
The Scottish Register of Tartans
The California State Tartan was originally designed by J Howard Standing, of Tarzana, and Thomas Ferguson, of Sydney, British Columbia. It was adopted as the official tartan of California in July 2001. Its pattern is based on the tartan used by the family of naturalist John Muir.
Visit Pasadena, Natalie Escobedo
California's state theater is the historic Pasadena Playhouse. The theater staged it first production in 1925 and was designated as the state theater in 1937. Famous actors who have performed there include Gene Hackman, Raymond Burr, Jean Arthur, Eve Arden and Tyrone Power.
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Towering and awe-inspiring, the California redwood is the state tree. One of the forest giants in Redwood National and State Parks reaches about 380 feet. It was designated in 1937. In this photo, a vistor walks along a path of Coastal Redwood trees at Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, California.
California Department of Veterans Affairs
The California Vietnam Veterans Memorial is in Sacramento's Capitol Park. Dedicated in 1988, the memorial commemorates the Californians who died or went missing in the Vietnam War.
Not Pictured: State Historic Society: California Historic Society; State Lichen: Lace Lichen; State Military Museum: California State Military Museum; State Soil: San Joaquin Soil; State Fife and Drum Band: The California Consolidated Drum Band.
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