Washington, I Hardly Knew Thee
"Ain't no head like steelhead"
I saw that barely legible sticker on the bumper of a well worn pickup truck the other day and had to chuckle. Today, I've come to find out the Steelhead trout is the official fish for the state of Washington.
And that led me to wonder what was the official fish for other states in the union. After doing some quick research and finding out it's the Chinook salmon in Oregon and in Idaho it's the Cutthroat trout, I got distracted, so like a squirrel on a nut tangent, I stumbled onto a bunch of official type things regarding the state I've lived in for more than half a century that I had no idea about.
There's a link at the end the piece to verify and validate everything covered moving forward, think of it as the Teacher's Edition to corroborate answers and quell debate.
The state of Washington has an official Great Seal, adopted first, duh, in 1889, that is simple in design, basically just a circle with an outer ring reading "The Seal of the State of Washington 1889", and a center that contains a portrait of George Washington. Jeweler Charles Talcott, who was asked to engrave a much more elaborate design for the seal back in 1889, found it next to impossible to replicate on a mass scale so he instead sketched out a design using George's image from a crate of cough medicine. It has taken on different iterations through the years, but the overall premise is basically the same as its always been.
Three years later, in 1892, the coast rhododendron was named Washington's official flower and the naming bonanza has continued through the scores of years all the way to 2014 when both Washington's Official Falls (Palouse) and Oyster (Ostrea lurida) were recognized.
The willow goldfinch is the state's official bird (1951); there are two official state songs, one folk, "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On" by Woody Guthrie (1987); the Walla Walla sweet onion is the official vegetable, the state finally wised up and gave that baby its proper due in 2007; the Western Hemlock is the official tree (1947); the state flag didn't become official until 1923; I did know the official fruit is the apple (1989) and the official marine mammal is the Orca (2005).
Finally, was naming the Square Dance Washington's Official Dance in 1979 a backlash to the disco revolution? Asking for my friend, Tony Manero.
Get smart quick here.