State symbols are often adopted after a collaborative effort by citizens and students to have a significant item recognized for its importance to the state. States such as Delaware and many others began to adopt some of their own official state symbols several decades ago, and in some cases, over 100 years ago.
A state symbol can come in the form of state animals, birds, flowers, amphibians, dances, beverages, nicknames, state seals, and much more.
Citizens, children, and educational institutions often research a particular symbol and make a request for a bill, tracking it all the way through the legislative process with the hope that it is enacted and a new state symbol is announced for Delaware.
Like other states, there are many Delaware state symbols. The Delaware state bird and flower are the Peach Blossom (Prunus persica) and the Blue Hen Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus).
What is the Delaware State Bird?
The Blue Hen chicken was adopted as the official Delaware state bird on April 14, 1939. These “blue hens” are actually not an officially recognized bird breed; they have been bred and named for a number of years due to their “steel-blue” feather coloring, with many taking up a more black coloration.
Delaware’s state bird pays homage to the history of the state, dating back to the Revolutionary War, when a group of soldiers, originally from Delaware and known for their courage, adopted the nickname of “The Blue Hen’s Chickens”, or alternatively, “Sons of the Blue Hen”.
Their nickname originated from the fighting offspring of one specific hen owned by their Captain at the time, John Caldwell, who was famous for being victorious in their rooster fights, known as cockfighting.
Fortunately, today, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act has become a federal law that considers cockfighting as a serious crime across state and national borders, making these acts illegal since 2007, prosecuting anyone found guilty with up to 3 years in jail.
What is the Delaware State Flower?
The famous Delaware state flower is the Peach Blossom, and it was first adopted in 1895 due to the state’s established and growing reputation as the “Peach State”.
During this period of time, Delaware’s orchards housed more than 800,000 peach trees. It is no wonder why the state had such a big reputation! Additionally, Delaware also adopted peach pie as its official state dessert in 2009.
Most states will have their symbols showcase a relevant story that is indicative of the state and its history, and the Blue Hen State puts its history and what it stands for across very well in its state bird and flower.
These interesting facts about Delaware and a whole host of others are what make the state so unique and fascinating to those who live there, those who are planning to visit, or those who are researching the historical events of the state and what they symbolize.