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Tennessee State Symbols, Songs, and Emblems

For the latest symbols information, visit the NETSTATE CHRONICLE.

DesignationList a-z Symbol / Emblem Adopted


The State of Tennessee. Tennessee Code Annotated. Nashville: The State of Tennessee, 2011. Web. 25 Sep 2011. <http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/>.
"Tennessee Blue Book 2009-2010." Tennessee Department of State. Tennessee Department of State, 2010. Web. 23 Sep 2011. <http://www.tn.gov/sos/bluebook/09-10/48%20Symbols%20&%20Honors.pdf>.
Shankle, George Earlie. State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols. Irvine, Calif.: Reprint Services Corp, Revised edition, 1971.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.

97th General Assembly song "Tennessee," words and music by Vivian Rorie. 1992
Agricultural insect Honeybee (Apis mellifera) 1990
Amphibian Tennessee cave salamander (Gyrinophilus palleucus) 1995
Artifact "Sandy," Mississippian stone statuary 2014
Aviation hall of fame Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame, Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport in Sevier County. 2001
Beverage Milk 2009
Bird Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) 1933
Botanical garden University of Tennessee Botanical Gardens 2013
Butterfly Zebra swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus) 1994
Commercial fish Channel catfsh (Ictalurus lacustris punctatus) 1988
Cultivated flower Iris (Genus Iridaceae) 1973
Evergreen tree Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) 2012
Fife and drum corps Watauga Valley Fife and Drum Corps 2014
Fine art Porcelain painting 1981
Flag Find out more... 1905
Folk dance Square Dance 1980
Flower Passionflower   What happened to the official state flowers?
Fossil Pterotrigonia (Scabrotrigonia) thoracica of the Coon Creek Formation. 1998
Fruit Tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum) 2003
Game bird Bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) 1988
Gem Tennessee pearl 1979
Great seal Find out more... 1796
Horse Tennessee walking horse (Equus caballus) 2000
Insects Firefly or lightning bug beetle (Family: Lampyridae)
Ladybird beetle or ladybug (Family: Coccinellidae)
Jamboree and crafts festival The Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree and Crafts Festival 1997
Language English 1984
Mineral Agate 2009
Outdoor drama Production at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area 2009
Painting "Tennessee Treasures," by Michael Sloan. 1997
Painting "Tennessee Treasures Too," by Michael Sloan. 2007
Pet Dogs and cats that are adopted from Tennessee animal shelters and rescues 2014
Poem "Oh Tennesssee, My Tennessee," by Vice-Admiral William Porter Lawrence. 1973
Public school song My Tennessee," by Francis Hannah Tranum. 1931
Railroad library The A.C. Kalmbach Memorial Library, Chattanooga 2004
Railroad museum Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Hamilton County 1978
Railroad museum Cowan Railroad Museum, Franklin County 2007
Reptile Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) 1995
Rifle Barrett Model M82/M107 2016
Rock Limestone 1979
Salutes to flag Find out more... 2006
Site of freshwater pearl culturing Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Farm and Museum, Camden, Benton County. 2004
Slogan Tennessee - America at its Best 1965
Song "My Homeland, Tennessee," words by Nell Grayson Taylor, music by Roy Lamont Smith. 1925
Song "When It's Iris Time in Tennessee," by Willa Mae Waid. 1935
Song "Tennessee Waltz" by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King. 1965
Song "Rocky Top" by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. 1982
Song "The Pride of Tennessee" by Fred Congdon, Thomas Vaughn and Carol Elliot. 1996
Song "Smoky Mountain Rain" by Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan. 2010
Song "Tennessee" by John R. Bean. 2011
Sport fish Small-mouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) 2005
Symbol Circular feature of state flag 2016
Theatre Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville 1999
Tartan Find out more... 1999
Tree Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) 1947
Veterans poem “Home To Stay” by the late Jasper N. Bailey 2014
Veterans poem “Echos From a Soldier's Grave” by Sergeant First Class Ernest E. Sharp 2016
Wild animal Raccoon (Procyon lotor) 1971
Wild flower Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) 1973
Wild flower Tennessee echinacea (Echinacea tennesseensis) 2012

Bicentennial designations

DesignationList a-z Symbol / Emblem Adopted


"Tennessee Blue Book 2009-2010." Tennessee Department of State. Tennessee Department of State, 2010. Web. 23 Sep 2011. <http://www.tn.gov/sos/bluebook/09-10/48%20Symbols%20&%20Honors.pdf>.
Tennessee Department of State. The Tennessee Blue Book. 1977-1978. Nashville: Tennessee Department of State, 1978. 510-511.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.

Bicentennial poem "Who We Are," by Margaret Britton Vaughn. 1997
Bicentennial portrait The Pride of Tennessee 1990
Bicentennial rap song "A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap," by Joan Hill Hanks. 1996
Bicentennial school song "My Home Will Always Be in Tennessee" by Shirley McRae, Terre Campbella-McCormick and Margaret Campbelle duGard. 1996
Bicentennial tree The Yellowwood Tree (Cladrastis lutea) 1991
U.S. bicentennial march song "The Tennessee Salute," by Richard M. "Pek" Gunn. 1975
U.S. bicentennial song "Fly Eagle, Fly!," by James Rogers. 1976

Making laws in Tennessee

The Tennessee legislature, called the Tennessee General Assembly, offers About the Legislature which includes an overview and articles such as How a Bill Becomes Law and a Glossary to help us understand how laws are made in Tennessee. The Homework Help section contains The Tennessee House of Representatives Activity Book, Matching Games, a Student Activity Book from the Office of the Chief Clerk of the Senate, and some History for Kids

Additional Information

State Symbols: The State of Tennessee.

Tennessee Facts and Symbols
Facts and Symbols

Kathy Feeney

Tennessee Facts and Symbols, by Kathy Feeney. 24 pages. Publisher: Capstone Press; Rev Upd edition (August 2003) Reading level: Grades 3-4. Interest level: Grades 3-9. Perfect for report writing! Easy-to-read text covers major Tennessee symbols such as the state flag, seal, bird, tree, flower, animal, and more. A "Fast Facts" section highlights the state's capital city, largest city, physical size, population, natural resources, farm products, and primary manufactured goods. Also included are full-page maps that introduce the concept of the map key, which is great for teaching map-reading skills.

Tennessee State Symbols
State Symbols

Rob Simbeck

Tennessee State Symbols, by Rob Simbeck. 192 pages. Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press; 1 edition (July 3, 2002) Tennesseans may be stirred by the sight of their state flag or the strains of "The Tennessee Waltz," but there are many other symbols associated with the Volunteer State: animals, plants, and even rocks. This new edition of Rob Simbeck's popular book describes thirty-one emblems of Tennessee's heritage and explains how they came to be recognized as official state symbols.

Simbeck has compiled a treasury of facts and anecdotes about Tennessee's symbols that will surprise even those who have lived their entire lives in the state. Here is the story behind the construction of the state capitol; an account of the "war of the iris and passionflower" as they vied for official recognition; and a fascinating look at the most fragile state symbol, the freshwater pearl, the product of the state's mussels, many of which are endangered. Also included are the lyrics to Tennessee's seven state songs, from "Rocky Top" to "Pride of Tennessee."

State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols
State Names, Seals
Flags and Symbols

Benjamin F. Shearer
Barbara S. Shearer

State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols, by Benjamin F. Shearer, Barbara S. Shearer. 544 pages. Greenwood Press; 3 Sub edition (October 30, 2001) This is one of the best, and most comprehensive, books we could find about the official state names and nicknames, mottoes, seals, flags, capitols, flowers, trees, birds, songs, and miscellaneous designations of each state. This, coupled with the 1938 Shankle book, formed the basis of our symbol library. If you're serious about your states symbols, you'll want to have this book and the one below. This book also contains information about state holidays, license plates, sports teams, universities and other trivia.

State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols, by George Earlie Shankle. 522 pages. Reprint Services Corp; Revised edition (June 1971) Reprint of the 1938 revised edition. The first comprehensive book about our state symbols! From the preface: "This book grew out of the desire of its author to know, about his native state, a great many facts which he found exceedingly difficult to obtain. After three years of research in the Library of Congress, he is able to give to the public this storehouse of information, which could have been gathered from not library less fertile in source material..."

Visit the NETSTATE Tennessee State Book Store for additional Tennessee related books, including Tennessee Reference Books, History, Biographies and Cookbooks.

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