Each state has its “official state” you-name-it, and Maine is no exception. These symbols are intended to convey the spirit and essence of the natural environment and cultural heritage of Maine. Each has its own story and myths.
Often the bird, insect, mineral, etc. symbols are offered to the legislature by elementary school classes as an exercise in citizenship.
Although the state law of 1820 defines the state seal (at left), there have been several variations since statehood:
A shield, argent, charged with a Pine Tree; a Moose Deer, at the foot of it, recumbent. Supporters: on the dexter side, a Husbandman, resting on a scythe; on the sinister side, a Seaman, resting on an anchor.
In the foreground, representing sea and land, and under the shield, the name of the State in large Roman capitals.
The whole surmounted by a Crest, the North Star. The motto, in small Roman capitals, in a label interposed between the Shield and the Crest, viz: ‘Dirigo’ – (I direct or I lead).
(“Dexter” and “sinister” are “right” and “left” respectively, in Latin.)
The Pine Cone and Tassel (Pinus Strobus, Linnaeus)
The coat of arms of the State of Maine on a blue field matching the shade of blue in the flag of the United States.
Executive Mansion (1919)
Chickadee (Parus Atricapillus)
State of Maine Song
composed by Roger Vincent Snow
Grand State of Maine, proudly we sing
To tell your glories, to the land,
To shout your praises till the echoes ring.
Should fate unkind send us to roam,
The scent of the fragrant pines, the tang of the salty sea
Will call us home.
Oh, Pine Tree State,
Your woods, fields and hills,
Your lakes, streams and rock bound coast
Will ever fill our hearts with thrills,
And tho’ we seek far and wide
Our search will be in vain,
To find a fairer spot on earth
Than Maine! Maine! Maine!
Tree (1945) White Pine
Fish (1969) Landlocked Salmon (Salmo salar Sebago)
Mineral (1971) Tourmaline
Insect (1975) Honeybee
Animal (1979) Moose
Cat (1985) Maine Coon Cat
Fossil (1985) Pertica quadrifaria
Vessel (1988) The arctic exploration schooner “Bowdoin”
Berry (1991) Blueberry
Herb (1999) Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
Soil (1999) Chesuncook Soil Series