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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.

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