calicochessieMarylandmilkoriolesRoute One Apparelsymbols

Surprising Symbols

Route One Apparel Staff

If you've lived in Maryland for any length of time, you're familiar with the more popular state symbols. The oriole is the state bird (like the handsome fellow in the photo), and the black-eyed Susan is the state flower. But Maryland has a lot of state items that are more obscure--let's take a look. 
via danpvdb, flickr
State Gemstone: Patuxent River Stone
Dude. The Patuxent River Stone is beautiful. It looks like you could use it to hatch dragons, Game of Thrones-style. You can only find it in Maryland--no other states get to share in this awesome magic-looking gem. Gentlemen, propose to your Free State ladies with a little chunk of this wonder, and you'll be the best ever.
State Drink: Milk
We have a state drink! And it's not Natty Boh! No, the official state beverage is your favorite after-school drink, in honor of all the dairy farms of Maryland. According to the Maryland State Archives, Maryland produced almost 100 million gallons of it in 2009, but didn't provide any stats on how many cookies are needed to dunk in that much milk.
via Bogdan Migulski, flickr
State Cat: Calico
Like many of Maryland's symbols, the calico cat was picked because it has the orange-black-white color scheme going on. They're almost always female, and often they're considered good luck. You know those lucky waving cats from Japan, maneki-neko? They're calico cats that beckon money--perhaps that's why Maryland has the highest median income in the United States.
via a.fave, flickr
State Dog: Chesapeake Bay Retriever
More of a dog person? A Chessie may be for you. These are smart, strong working dogs that were bred to hunt ducks around the Chespeake Bay. Take these guys with you hunting, bring them home to play with your family, put them in a dog show--they can roll with whatever you've got. They're also the mascot for UMBC, further cementing their awesome status.
via fabulousfabs, flickr
State Dessert: Smith Island Cake
What on earth is a Smith Island Cake? Thin layers of yellow cake with chocolate icing between each layer, that's what. You want chocolate, but you also want yellow cake, and now you don't have to choose. In the words of Hannah Montana, you get the best of both worlds, only now you're Hannah Maryland because you're eating the Maryland state cake and it is delicious.
State Insect: Baltimore Checkerspot
When you hear 'state insect', your first thought is probably 'ew', because insects are usually kind of gross. But the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly is not gross. It's gorgeous. Like the calico, the Maryland colors are present, but these butterflies look like they were designed by a jeweler or a fashion designer.I need a dress in that pattern, immediately.
All symbol information is courtesy of the Maryland State Archives.
This post was written by Route One Apparel blogger, Eva Niessner.

Leave a reply

sort by date

Latest articles

Where'd That Maryland City Name Come From?


Where'd That Maryland City Name Come ...

  Some towns and cities have pretty obvious names. They're probably named after a geographic feature, or after the person who founded it. But what about the Maryland towns with...

read more
We Love Pumpkins! 6 Pumpkin Facts You Didn't Know


We Love Pumpkins! 6 Pumpkin Facts You...

    1. The largest pumpkin ever grown was over a ton in weight! That's right! An Italian man named Stefano Cutrupi grew a pumpkin in 2021 that was 2,702 pounds....

read more
Quiz: How Well Do You Know These Maryland College Teams?


Quiz: How Well Do You Know These Mary...

Now that football season is approaching, you're probably thinking about your alma mater's homecoming game. But how well do you actually know the teams here in Maryland? If you're an...

read more
Madame Maryland's Horoscope: September 2023


Madame Maryland's Horoscope: Septembe...

Fall is in the air, Marylanders! Summer is waning, and we're finally getting some nice crisp mornings -- a sure sign that autumn will be here soon. What does the...

read more
Go Back In Time! What Was Prehistoric Maryland Like?


Go Back In Time! What Was Prehistoric...

You've probably seen some pictures or heard some stories about what Maryland was like before you lived here or before you were born. Maybe your grandparents showed you some snapshots...

read more
10 Dorm Cooking Hacks


10 Dorm Cooking Hacks

  It's time to head back to school, Marylanders! If you're living in a dorm for the first (or second, or third) time, you may be wondering what you can...

read more
5 Fun Facts About Maryland's Official Feline


5 Fun Facts About Maryland's Official...

  If you're a cat person, you know there's nothing cuter than a cuddly calico cat. These colorful kitties are so distinctive, and they make great pets. But here in...

read more


Smith Island Cake: The Local Legend

Maryland is well-known for a lot of savory things -- when we say Maryland food, you're probably thinking steamed crabs crusted with Old Bay, or fries eaten at the beach,...

read more
10 Things You Didn't Know About Maryland's State Parks


10 Things You Didn't Know About Maryl...

No matter what season it is here in Maryland, there's a state park waiting for you -- and Maryland has some pretty fantastic hidden gems deep in its woods! How...

read more