California’s Official State Stuff: Amphibians, Insects, Lichen, Dirt, etc.  (Gov. Code 420-429)

California Government Code sections 420-429 list California’s official stuff, in other words, “California State Symbols and Emblems.” Here is the list. [Plus, my expert comments]

How many did you know? What others would you recommend?

Red-legged Frog

Motto: Eureka  [This should be my wife’s motto when I misplace something]
Nickname: The Golden State
Song:I Love You, California”* [Should be “California Here I Come”]
Fabric: Denim [Should be canvas for the ship sails used as jean pants during Gold Rush]
Sport: Surfing [Should be bodysurfing for those of us who couldn’t afford boards]
Colors: Blue and Gold

Animal Kingdom


Amphibian: Red-legged frog
Animal: Grizzly bear [Should be the Golden Retriever]
Bird: Valley quail  [Should be the Condor, the largest bird in the Americas)
Fossil: Saber-toothed cat
Freshwater Fish: Golden trout
Marine Fish: Garibaldi [These are the adult goldfish people flush down the toilet]
Marine Mammal: Grey whale
Marine Reptile: Leatherback sea turtle

Dogface Butterfly

Reptile: Desert Tortoise
Insects: Dogface butterfly [notice the poodle face silhouettes on the wings]

Plant Kingdom
Flower: Golden poppy*  [Poppies produce heroin]
Fruit: Avocado [Should be the Orange.]
Grain: Rice [“Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco Treat”]
Lichen: Lace lichen [Who cares which lichen is official?]
Nuts: Almond and Walnut and Pistachio and Pecan [Just pick one]
Tree: Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia
Vegetable: Artichoke [Since I don’t like veggies, this doesn’t matter to me]
Grass: Purple needlegrass

San Juaquin Dirt (Can you spot the difference?)

Mineral Kingdom

Mineral: Gold
Rock: Serpentine
Soil: San Joaquin dirt [Official dirt?]

Gold Rush Ghost Town: Bodie
Silver Rush Ghost Town: Calico

Dance: West Coast Swing*
Folk Dance: Square dance*

Official Legislative Comments:

*“I Love You, California:” “[This] was the official song of both the San Francisco and San Diego Expositions in 1915, and was performed on the first ship to sail through the Panama Canal.”

*Golden Poppy: “April 6 of each year is hereby designated California Poppy Day

*West Coast Swing: “West Coast Swing Dancing, also known as Swing, Whip, or Jitterbug came into being in the early 1930’s in response to new musical forms then sweeping the land.  It was created at the grassroots level of our people. Age is no factor, nor is gender.  Among the ranks of swing dancers, one can find judges, schoolteachers, lawyers, waitresses, salesmen, doctors, students, and so on.”

*Square Dance: “The Square Dance has a long and proud history … and has been danced continuously in California since Gold Rush Days…. California leads the nation with more than 200,000 residents square dancing weekly…. [It] appeals to people of all ages, races, creeds.  Class distinction if forgotten when people join together to enjoy the true fellowship of Square Dance.” [True fellowship? Sounds like a religion.]

My Recommended Updates:
Official Legal Drug: Marijuana
Official Illegal Drug: Methamphetamine  [Will probably be legalized in near future]
Official Crime: Looting
Official Pastime: Rioting [“California’s a riot”]
Official Mottos:I’m not responsible!” and “It’s not my fault!”

L.A. Rioting & Looting


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