West Virginia's karst topography contributes to its cool trout waters, diverse landscapes, whitewater rapids, historic caves and lost world caverns. The state motto of West Virginia Montani Semper Liberi or "Mountaineers Always Free" was adopted in 1863 reflecting the character and beliefs of the citizens of the state at the time of its adoption. Being known as the land of rugged mountains (the scenic Allegheny Mountains cross the state), it is most appropriate for West Virginia to be nicknamed The Mountain State.
West Virginia is considered the southern most northern state
and the northern most southern state.
West Virginia adopted its present state flag by Senate Joint Resolution Number 18, approved by the Legislature on March 7, 1929. The proportions of the state flag are the same as those of the United States flag. The background, or field, of the flag is pure white bordered by a strip of blue on all four sides. The coat-of-arms of the State of West Virginia is the center focal point of the flag.
The West Virginia state seal was adopted in 1863. The state motto Montani Semper Liberi appears on the lower border of the seal symbolizing Mountaineers Always Free.
West Virginia has a State Reptile!
West Virginia State Reptile: Timber Rattlesnake
-Theodore Roosevelt"Rattlesnakes are only too plentiful everywhere; along the river bottoms, in the broken, hilly ground, and on the prairies and the great desert wastes alike...If it can it will get out of the way, and only coils up in its attitude of defence when it believes that it is actually menaced."
West Virginia State Animal: Black Bear
"Bears keep me humble. They help me to keep the world in perspective and to understand where I fit on the spectrum of life. We need to preserve the wilderness and its monarchs for ourselves, and for the dreams of children. We should fight for these things as if our life depended upon it, because it does."
West Virginia State Bird: Northern Cardinal
Image Source: FactZoo.com
West Virginia State Flower: Rhododendron
Golden delicious apple - photo courtesy of New York Apple Association; © New York Apple Association.
Click for recipe: West Virginia State Apple PieWest Virginia designated the apple as the official state fruit in 1972 and then ammended the resolution in 1995 to specify the golden delicious apple.
For all State Symbols of West Virginia click HERE!
The Mountains are Callin'
From Allegheny to Blue Ridge
Mountain echoes are callin'
Mystical, chilling, thrilling
Before, during, after leaves fallin'
Trails along the rain shadow
Follow shale barrens deep within
Endemic species cling to life
White-haired leatherflowers begin
Seneca Rocks in autumnal splendor
Stand majestic in the distance
Towering over trees and shrubs
Reaffirming past existence
From arid plateaus to thundering falls
Panoramic scenes, a bird's eye view
Stretch upward and outward
Beneath a sky of cerulean blue
The shy, secretive black bear
Denning in large, hollow trees
Roams free in the wild
Savoring the mountain breeze
The mountains are callin'
Callin' me, callin' me home
To their glorious wonders
Beneath a whispering dome
Sharla Lee Shults
|How West Virginia Got Its Shape|