Can you name the symbols of the United States? Many icons may come to mind, including Old Glory, the Statue of Liberty, the White House, Uncle Sam, the Liberty Bell, and the bald eagle; however, only a handful are considered official symbols. If you’re not familiar with all of them, some may surprise you! For example, did you know the North American Bison was named the national mammal of the United States in 2016? This Fourth of July, share these fun facts about the U.S.’ national symbols with your friends and family!
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The national symbols of the United States stand for many things; the country’s values, history, ideals, pride, and a shared sense of unity among the people. Though you may be familiar with many of the symbols of the USA – did you know these interesting facts about them?
National Mammal – North American Bison (2016*): Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam.
Commonly referred to as buffalo, the North American Bison is the largest mammal in North America.
National Tree – The Might Oak Tree (2004*): Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.
There are about 600 species of oaks!
National March – “The Stars and Stripes Forever” (1987*): Hurrah for the flag of the free!
John Philip Sousa, known as “the March King,” composed 136 marches over his lifetime, including the official U.S. march, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
National Seal – Great Seal of the United States (1782*): E Pluribus Unum.
Used as a coat of arms to authenticate certain documents, it took six years (July 4, 1776 – June 13, 1782) to get the design of the Great Seal just right.
National Bird – Bald Eagle (1782*): Liberty, freedom, and independence.
Bald eagles build nests larger than any other North American bird, averaging two to four feet deep, and five to six feet around – but the largest nest found was twenty feet deep!
National Motto – “In God We Trust” (1956*): And this be our motto – In God is our trust.”
“In God We Trust” is also the national motto of the state of Florida!
National Flag – Flag of the United States (1777*): And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave.
Five out of six U.S. flags planted by Apollo astronauts (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17) are still standing on the moon.
National Anthem – “The Star-Spangled Banner” (1931*): O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Before it was named “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics as a poem, “The Defense of Fort McHenry” which was later set to the tune of a popular British song, “to Anacreon in Heaven.”
National Flower – The Rose (1986*): Every rose has its thorn.
Botanically speaking, roses have prickles, not thorns.
* Official year of designation.