State Emblems and Symbols
Icons with Meaning
Indiana's residents are sure proud of their home state. Over the years we have adopted many items to represent us, including those you see on this page.
State Flag – Blue and Gold
Designed in Mooresville by Paul Hadley and officially adopted in 1917, the state flag includes 19 stars and a torch. The outer 13 stars represent the original 13 states, the five stars in a half circle represent the states admitted prior to Indiana, and the large star at the top represents Indiana, the 19th state admitted to the Union. The gold torch represents liberty and enlightenment, while the rays represent the far-reaching influence of those two attributes.
State Bird – Northern Cardinal
When courting a female, which is brown, the red male cardinal will feed her sunflower seeds to win her affection. The male cardinal is also extremely defensive of its breeding territory. Upon seeing its reflection in glass surfaces, the bird has been known to spend hours fighting an imaginary foe.
State Flower – Peony
This perennial is planted in the fall for beautiful spring blooming. Ants are attracted to the sweet nectar produced by the peony. The ants are harmless to the flower, and many people believe that they return the sweet favor by defending the peony from harmful insects.
Unofficial State Pie – Sugar Cream
Also known as Hoosier Pie, a resolution to name the sugar cream pie as Indiana's State Pie passed in the State Senate in 2009. This Indiana tradition harkens back to early Amish and Shaker communities. It’s quite delicious!
State River – Wabash River
Flowing uninterrupted for 411 miles to the Ohio River, the Wabash River is the longest stretch of free-flowing river east of the Mississippi River.
State Song – “On The Banks of the Wabash, Far Away”
Written by Terre Haute native Paul Dresser and first published in 1897, it remained popular for decades and became the official state song in 1913.
State Stone – Limestone
Known for its durability and resistance to exposure to the elements, limestone is especially popular in architecture and has been used to build many landmarks around the world. The Tribune Tower, U.S. Pentagon and the Empire State Building are all made of Indiana limestone.
State Tree – Tulip Tree
Also known as the yellow poplar, the tulip tree is the tallest hardwood tree in eastern North America. It can grow taller than 100 feet and live for 150 years.