On February 14, 1859, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.

The name “Oregon,” pronounced Or-eh-gun, is thought to be derived from one of two Indian words: either “oragan” from the Sautee tribe of Chippewa, meaning “casket” or “plate of bark”, or wauregan, used by New England Indians meaning “beautiful”.

Of the 50 state flags, Oregon’s is currently the only one with a different design on each side. The navy blue background shows gold lettering and the state seal on the front and a beaver on the reverse.

Oregon State Symbols

State Capital               Salem

State Animal               Beaver (Castor canadensis)

State Beverage            Milk

State Bird                    Western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

State Colors                Blue and gold

State Crustacean         Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister)

State Dance                 Square dance

State Fish                    Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

State Flower                Oregon grape Mahonia aquifolium)

State Fossil                  Metasequoia

State Fruit                   Pear (Pyrus)

State Gem                   Sunstone

State Insect                 Oregon swallowtail butterfly (Papilio oregonius)

State Microbe              Brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)

State Motto                 Alis Volat Propriis (Latin for “She flies with her own wings”)

State Mushroom          Pacific golden chanterelle (Cantharellus formosus)

State Nickname           Beaver state

State Nut                     Hazelnut

State Rock                  Thunderegg

State Seashell              Oregon hairy triton (Fusitriton oregonensis)

State Soil                     Jory

State Song                   “Oregon, My Oregon”

State Tree                    Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)







About Lynne Schaefer

Lynne Schaefer has written two newspaper columns ("The Schussboomer" about skiing in California, and "Notes from Lynne's Journal" about Oregon wildlife); travel and garden articles for regional magazines copy for DVD tours of the High Desert Museum and the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, both in Bend, Oregon. She has published three non-fiction books, A Traveler's Guide to Historic California, Christmas Trivia Quiz, and His Daughter's Remembrance.
This entry was posted in History, Human Interest, Oregon History, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to HAPPY 157th BIRTHDAY, OREGON!

  1. Heather H. says:

    Thanks for remembering, Lynne! I would maybe suggest a slightly different pronunciation: more OH-rih-guhn instead of OH-reh-guhn. Small difference, but we natives are picky, as you know. I did not know we had a state microbe! I also like to brag that we were the first state in the union to pass a “bottle bill” (1971), and the first — and still one of the only — to make all beaches public property (Oregon Beach Bill, 1967). We were also the first state to decriminalize marijuana (1973), though I’m not sure if that’s brag-worthy or not. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynne Schaefer says:

    I stand corrected. Thank you, Heather.


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