Get to know Illinois: 15 state symbols Nov 23, 2019 0 Facebook Twitter SMS Email Print Save Here is a look at 15 of Illinois' symbols — from the state bird to the official state soil. Snack food — Popcorn Second and third graders from a Joliet elementary school, along with their teacher, completed a class project attempting to make popcorn the official snack food of the State of Illinois. The General Assembly made that designation official in 2003. (Illinois.gov) Amphibian — Eastern tiger salamander Illinois citizens voted to select the eastern tiger salamander as the state amphibian in 2004. The vote was made official by the General Assembly in 2005. (Illinois.gov) Jim Schulz Reptile — Painted turtle Illinois citizens voted to select the painted turtle as the state reptile in 2004. The vote was made official by the General Assembly in 2005. (Illinois.gov) Jim Schulz Flower — Violet In 1907, Illinois schoolchildren voted to select the state tree and the state flower. They selected the Native Oak and the Violet. The General Assembly approved a bill to make these selections official in 1908. (Illinois.gov) Carolyn Kaster Tree — White Oak In 1907, Illinois schoolchildren voted to select the state tree and the state flower. They selected the Native Oak. In 1973, a special poll of 900,000 schoolchildren changed the State Tree from the Native Oak to the White Oak. (Illinois.gov) Wikipedia Bird — Cardinal In 1928, Illinois schoolchildren selected the cardinal as the State Bird of Illinois. The General Assembly made that designation official in 1929. (Illinois.gov) Lois Bernstein Insect — Monarch butterfly In 1974, Decatur third-graders suggested that the monarch butterfly become the state insect. Schoolchildren lobbied for the monarch butterfly and the General Assembly passed a bill making it official in 1975. PHIL COALE, Illinois.gov Fish — Bluegill Schoolchildren selected the Bluegill as the state fish in 1986. Although the Bluegill grows to only about 9 inches in length and weighs less than a pound, it has a reputation as one of the best fighting game fish. (Illinois.gov) Phil Grout Mineral — Fluorite The General Assembly established Fluorite as the state mineral in 1965. Illinois is the largest producer of Fluorite in the United States. Fluorite is used in making steel, enamels, aluminum, glass, and many chemicals. (Illinois.gov) Wikipedia Animal — White-tailed deer Illinois schoolchildren voted to select the white-tailed deer as the state animal in 1980. The vote was made official by the General Assembly in 1982. (Illinois.gov) » Fun fact: Pictured above is Stephanie, a white-tailed deer—an orphaned, formerly injured young fawn, brought back to good health by a kind soul in the Lake Bloomington area. Read Bill Flick's 2013 story about Stephanie here. For The Pantagraph Fossil — The Tully Monster The Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium) was a soft-bodied marine animal that lived 280 to 340 million years ago. More than 100 Tully Monster fossils have been found in Illinois. Read more about the Tully Monster on Wikipedia. (Illinois.gov) Wikipedia Dance — Square dance The Square Dance was designated as the official state dance in 1990. (Illinois.gov) Danny Goshtigian Prairie grass — Big Bluestem In 1989 the Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) became the state prairie grass. The General Assembly adopted this designation following a poll of students conducted by the Illinois Department of Conservation. (Illinois.gov) Wikipedia Fruit — Gold Rush Apple Source: ilga.gov Flickr Creative Commons user takomabibelot Soil — Drummer silty clay loam This clipping from the Aug. 3, 2001 Pantagraph reads: "Drummer silty clay loam is the most common Illinois soil, covering more than 1.5 million acres and yielding some of the best corn and soybean crops in the nation. It is named after Drummer Creek in Ford County."RELATED B–N in 50 Objects, Object #3: Soil »Learn more about The Pantagraph's digital archives here. 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