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New York State Emblems

This page is provided to help people find some commonly-sought information about New York State.

I Love New York

I heart New York logo longThe "I love NY" slogan and logo was developed to promote tourism in New York State. Created by graphic artist Milton Glaser, it was first used in 1977. The use of a heart as a symbol for the word "love" has been widely imitated since then.

Note: New York State Empire State Developmentexternal link holds the trademark to the "I Love NY" logo, and licenses its use. It cannot be used without their permission.


Words and Music by Steve Karmen

I LOVE NEW YORK (repeat three times)

There isn't another like it
No matter where you go
And nobody can compare it
It's win and place and show
New York is special
New York is diff'rent
'Cause there's no place else on earth
Quite like New York
And that's why
I LOVE NEW YORK (Repeat 3 times)


State Emblems

Beaver Illustration from Fauna of New York, 1842

The beaver was adopted as the State animal in 1975. Adult beavers are three to four feet long and weigh 40 to 50 pounds.

To provide beaver pelts to European markets in the early 1600s, fur traders settled near the present capital, Albany, to trade with Indians.

Illustration The Beaver, Castor Fiber is from Zoology of New York, or
the New York Fauna

New York State Beverage: Milk

Milk was designated the official state beverage of New York in 1981, and in 2014 yogurt was adopted as the official state snack. New York is a leader in dairy production (it ranks third in the United States for the amount of milk produced). Agriculture is the backbone of Upstate New York economy, with dairy farming being the largest component.

The image of milk and dairy products is from Annual Report of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture - 2017

NYS Bird: the Eastern BluebirdThe bluebird was adopted as the State bird in 1970.

The Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis, is a medium-sized thrush. Adult males are blue on top, with a reddish-brown throat and breast, and a white belly. Females have paler coloring.

The eastern bluebird is traditionally found in open woodlands, meadows, farmlands and orchards. They usually nest in tree cavities, but many people also provide special nesting boxes along fence rows for bluebirds, to supplement their natural nesting cavities.

The once-prolific Eastern bluebird has been making a comeback from low numbers in the 1950s.

The bluebird is also Missouri's state bird.

NY State Law

New York State Consolidated Laws, State Law, Article 6, Section 78, signed by Governor Nelson Rockefeller on May 18, 1970, states that:

§ 78. State bird. The bluebird (Sialia Sialis) shall be the official bird of the state of New York.

The illustration of the eastern bluebird is from Zoology of New York, or the New York Fauna (1843).

New York State Bush- LilacThe lilac bush (Syringa vulgaris) was designated the official state bush of New York state in 2006. New Hampshire also recognizes the lilac blossom as the state flower.

The image of lilac bushes is from the publication New York State Conservationist, (v.50, no.5, April 1996 ). 

New York State Fish: Brook Trout The brook trout was adopted as the State fish in 1975.

Found in hundreds of lakes and ponds in the Adirondack Mountains and scattered in cool, clear streams throughout the State, the native brook trout, called brookies or speckles, provide fine angling and the best of eating.

Note: the State Marine or Salt-water Fish is the striped bass (Morone Saxatilis)

New York Sate Salt-Water Fish: Striped Bass

The illustration of a Brook Trout and the Striped Bass are from Atlas of Inland Fishes (2016).

Great seal of NY StateThe device of arms of the State flag was adopted in 1778 and the present flag is a modern version of a Revolutionary War Flag. The original is at the Albany Institute of History and Art.

The State Flag depicts the Great Seal of the State of New York (pictured right) on a blue background. In the center of the Great Seal is a shield, which shows two ships on a river; in the background are three mountains and centered above is a golden sun in a blue sky. Above the shield is an American eagle, wings spread, atop a globe. The figures on either side of the shield represent Liberty and Justice. On a banner below is the State motto, Excelsior, which means "Ever Upward."

The Secretary of State is the custodian of the Great Seal of the State of New York, which is used to authenticate official records of the State. The Secretary of State may authorize the use of the seal for certain educational or commemorative purposes pursuant to State Law section 74.

See the NYS Department of State's web site for information on the Great Seal NYS Coat of Arms, and NYS Flag.

The illustration of the Great Seal is from the Annual Report-2018.

New York State Flower: RoseThe rose, wild or cultivated, in all its variety and colors, was made the State flower in 1955.

The rose is a perennial flower that grows on a shrub or vine of the genus Rosa. Roses often have beautiful and fragrant flowers, but the stems have thorns, or prickles. Wild roses like the pasture rose (right) usually have just five petals, while cultivated roses tend to have multiple sets of petals. Roses can be found in many gardens, as well as growing wild, throughout New York.

Ever popular, the rose was at the top of a school children's poll of favorite flowers in 1891.

The rose is also the national floral emblem of the United States.

NY State Law

New York Consolidated Laws, State Law, Article 6, Section 75, adopted on April 20, 1955, states that:

§ 75. State flower. The rose shall be the official flower of the state in any color or combination of colors common to it.

The illustration of a pasture rose is from Wild Flowers of New York (Museum Memoir 15).

New York State Fossil: Eurypterus RemipesEurypterus Remipes, an extinct relative of the modern king crab and sea scorpion, was adopted as the State fossil in 1984.

During the Silurian Age (over 400 million years ago), Eurypterus Remipes crawled along the bottom of the shallow, brackish sea that covered much of New York, extending from Buffalo to Schenectady and south to Poughkeepsie, roughly along the route of the New York Thruway.

The illustration of a Eurypterus Remipes fossil is from An Introduction to Invertebrate Fossils of New York (2003)

New York State fruit: Empire AppleThe apple was adopted as the State fruit in 1976. Apples are sweet and crisp, and many varieties are grown in New York.

Apples were introduced in the 1600s by European settlers who brought seeds to New York. Dried apples were a staple for colonists and hard apple cider was a popular drink.

The apple muffin was adopted as the state muffin in 1987 as a result of the efforts of students throughout New York State.

The illustration of York Imperial apples is from The Apples of New York (1905).

New York State Gemstone: Garnet The garnet was adopted as the State gem in 1969. The dark red garnet is an eye-appealing gem as well as a prized industrial abrasive.

Barton Mines in the Adirondack Mountains is the world's largest garnet mine.

The photograph of Garnet Ore at the Barton Corporation's Ruby Mountain Mine is from Mineral Industry of the State of New York (2007-2010)

Nine-spotted lady beetle eating a smaller insectThe lady bug (coccinella novemnotata), or also known as the nine-spotted lady beetle, was adopted as the New York State insect in 1989. Although they are rare to see in the wild, the lady bug is helpful to gardeners by eating tiny pests that ruin plants.

Other states such as North Dakota, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Tennessee also recognize the lady bug as their official state insect.

The illustration of the lady bug is featured in the New York State Conservationist (vol.52, no.2, October 1997).

New York State Reptile- Snapping TurtleThe State Reptile, the common snapping turtle (chelydra serpentina), was declared in 2006 by the New York State Legislature after being popularly chosen by the state's elementary school children. 

The image of the common snapping turtle comes from the New York Conservationist (vol.33, no.6, May-June 1979).

New York State Shell- Bay Scallop New York designated the bay scallop (Argopecten irradians) as official state shell in 1988.They get their name from the shallow waterbodies they're found in, such as the Peconic, Gardiners and Shinnecock bays in New York's marine waters. 

Although the bay scallop is an official state symbol of New York, its range is actually from Nova Scotia, Canada, to the Laguna Madre on the western Texas Gulf Coast.

The image of a bay scallop is from the publication, New York State Conservationist (vol.53, no.6, June 1999).

New York State Tree: Sugar Maple TreeThe sugar maple was adopted as the State tree in 1956. Its pointed leaves turn to brilliant colors in autumn.

Maple syrup is made from the sweet sap that is stored in the trunk of the sugar maple. The wood also makes fine furniture and burns well in woodstoves and fireplaces.

The illustration of a Sugar Maple Tree is from the periodical
New York State Conservationist
(vol.62, no.2, Oct. 2007)

Last Updated: November 1, 2022