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The Buckeye State
March 1, 1803
11,363,568 (2000 Census)
Ohio adopted the cardinal as its official bird in 1933. A permanent resident of Ohio, the cardinal is known for its clear, strong song and brilliant plumage. The bird, Cardinalis cardinalis, commonly known as the "cardinal," is the official bird of the state.
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Ohio's state flag was adopted in 1902. The Ohio burgee, as the swallowtail design is properly called, was designed by John Eisemann. The large blue triangle represents Ohio's hills and valleys, and the stripes represent roads and waterways. The 13 stars grouped about the circle represent the original states of the union; the 4 stars added to the peak of the triangle symbolize that Ohio was the 17th state admitted to the union. The white circle with its red center not only represents the "O" in Ohio, but also suggests Ohio's famous nickname, "The Buckeye State."
The red carnation was adopted as Ohio's state flower in 1904 in memory of President William McKinley, who always wore a red carnation in his lapel.
In 1959, the Ohio legislature adopted the state's motto, "With God all things are possible." An earlier motto, "Imperium in Imperior" (An Empire within an Empire) was adopted in 1865 but repealed two years later because Ohioans thought it too pretentious.
Presidents from Ohio:
The current design of the Great Seal of the State of Ohio was officially adopted in 1967 and modified in 1996. In the foreground, a sheaf of wheat represents Ohio's agricultural strength. A bundle of 17 arrows symbolizes Ohio's status as the 17th state admitted to the union. Thirteen rays around the sun represent the thirteen original colonies shining over the first state in the Northwest Territory. The background contains a portrayal of Mount Logan, with a three-quarter full sun rising behind it — symbolizing that Ohio was the first state west of the Allegheny Mountains. The Scioto River flows between the mountain and the cultivated fields in the foreground. Here is the section of the Ohio Revised Code describing the state seal:
The nickname for Ohio and its inhabitants — Buckeye — became official in 1953 when the legislature named the Ohio Buckeye the state tree. The buckeye tree derives the name from its large brown seeds, which resemble the eyes of the white-tailed deer. Below is the section of the Ohio Revised Code naming our state tree:
The story of Ohio's statehood dates back to the Ordinance of 1787 and the creation of the Northwest Territory — a large body of unsettled land that encompassed what is now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota.
The territory was ruled by a governor, a secretary, and three judges, who were all appointed by Congress. These five officials performed the executive, legislative and judicial functions of government. It wasn't until 1798 — after the male adult population of the territory reached 5,000 — that the settlers were given the right to elect a house of representatives. The first meeting of the legislature convened in Cincinnati in 1799. The body elected Edward Tiffin as Speaker of the House and William Henry Harrison as the territory's representative to Congress.
Though the territorial government was just getting on its feet in 1799, Ohio settlers were already clamoring for statehood. And just a few years later, in 1802, Congress passed an enabling bill that authorized the formation of a state government in Ohio. Ohio's first constitutional convention convened in Chillicothe in November of that same year. Ohio was admitted to the Union in 1803.
Chillicothe served as the temporary capital for the new state until 1810 when the legislature moved the capital to Zanesville. The capital was shuttled back to Chillicothe in 1812, while the legislature searched for a more centralized location. The legislature finally decided to build a new capital on "the high banks of the Scioto River." Columbus became Ohio's permanent capital in 1816.