Important Facts about Arizona
Statehood: February 14, 1912 (48th)
Population: 6,553,255 (2012 estimate, U.S. Census Bureau)
State Size: 113,909 square miles (6th largest)
State Capitol: Phoenix
State Motto: Ditat Deus (God Enriches)
State Nickname: Grand Canyon State
Border States: California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah
The lower half of the flag is a blue field, the upper half divided into thirteen equal segments; six light yellow and seven red. In the center of the flag is a copper-colored five-point star which represents Arizona as the largest producer of copper in the nation.
Arizona’s main enterprises and attractions are represented in the seal. In the background of the seal is a range of mountains with the sun rising behind the peaks. At the right side of the mountains is a water storage reservoir and a dam, with irrigated fields and orchards. There are cattle grazing on the right, and a quartz mill and a miner with a pick and shovel on the left.
Official Neckwear: Bola Tie
The bola tie is “a new symbol of the West” and is usually hand-made in many different shapes and sizes.
State Firearm: Colt Single Action Army Revolver
The newest of the state symbols, the Colt Single Action Revolver became the state firearm in 2011.
State Tree: Palo Verde
Its name means “green stick.” The Palo Verde tree is found in the desert and the foothills of Arizona. The tree blooms in late spring, usually April or May.
State Flower: Blossom of the Saguaro Cactus
This pure white flower blooms on the tips of the Saguaro Cactus during May and June. The Saguaro Cactus is the largest cactus grown in the United States.
State Gem: Turquoise
It’s a blue-green, semi-precious stone that has been used for centuries in Southwest Indian Jewelry. It can be found throughout the Southwest and is composed of hydrous oxide of aluminum and copper.
State Bird: Cactus Wren
It measures 7 to 8 inches in length, and its back is brown with white spots, and its throat is lighter colored with black spots. Its bill is curved down and there’s a white line over each eye. Cactus Wrens eat insects, seeds, and fruit. They often build their nests inside a cactus to protect them from predators.
State Fossil: Petrified Wood
Petrified wood is the state fossil. Most of the petrified wood in Arizona can be found in the Petrified Forest in the northern part of the state. A long time ago the wood used to be trees. Over a long period of time the wood became petrified, meaning it is as hard as a rock!
State Mammal: Ringtail
The ringtail is the state mammal; it is not really a cat but is related to the raccoon. The ringtail is also known as the ringtail cat, miner’s cat, and cacomistle. It was named the state mammal in 1986.
State Reptile: Arizona Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnake
The Arizona Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnake was the last rattlesnake to be named by herpetologists. This snake is small, rarely weighing more than 3-4 ounces as an adult or growing longer than 24 inches. The Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnake lives only in the Huachuca, Patagonia, and Santa Rita Mountains in the south central part of Arizona.
State Fish: Apache Trout
Apache Trout is the state fish. It has a yellowish color and pink bands and spots on its body. It is found in state rivers.
State Amphibian: Arizona Tree Frog
The Arizona Tree Frog is small (usually 3/4 to 2 inches long), just a little larger than the size of a quarter. Most are green but some can be gold colored. A dark stripe starts at its nose, runs through the eye and ends just before the back legs.
State Butterfly: Two-Tailed Swallowtail
Swallowtails are the largest species of butterflies in the United States. It features a wingspan of 3-1/2 to 5-1/2 inches long and is found only west of the Mississippi River. They are bright yellow, although females have a slightly orange cast to their wings. On the yellow background of each hind wing, are seven iridescent blue, rectangular-shaped markings and two red crescent-shaped marks. Four narrow black bars run up and down the forewings and both the fore and hind wings are edged in black. The key field mark for this butterfly is its two “tails” on each hind wing.