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West Virginia

35th State (June 20, 1863), the upper south U.S.

State Abbreviation: WV

Origin of Name: Named in honor of Elizabeth I of England.

Nickname: Mountain State and Switzerland of America (for its mountains), Panhandle State (for its shape)






West Virginia State Symbols:

Capital: Charleston
Motto: Montani semper liberi--Mountaineers are always free
West Virginia State Seal
Bird: Cardinal
Fish: Brook Trout
Flower: Rhododendron maximum, or "big laurel"
Fossil: West Virginia fossil (Megalonyx jeffersonii)
Fruit: Golden Delicious Apple
Gemstone: Chalcedony
Insect: Monarch Butterfly
Mammal: Black Bear
Reptile: Timber rattlesnake
Song: West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home; The West Virginia Hills; and This is My West Virginia.
Tree: Sugar Maple

West Virginia State Symbols
Information Sheet
and Color Pages (pdf)



Things to Know

United States Senators from West Virginia.

West Virginia is the second-largest coal producing state in the country.

West Virginia has long been famous for its manufacture of fine glass.

West Virginia was a part of Virginia until that state seceded from the United States in 1861; delegates from 50 counties formed their own government, and statehood was granted them two years later in 1863.

Harper's Ferry National Historical Park
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, John Brown, "Stonewall" Jackson, and Frederick Douglas are just a few of the prominent individuals who left their mark on this place.

New River Gorge National River
The New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent.

Famous West Virginian's

Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
Confederate General, born in Clarksburg.

Mary Lou Retton
1984 Olympic Gold Medal winner in gymnastics is from Fairmont.

Booker T. Washington
Black educational leader and the first president of Tuskegee Institute, raised in Malden.

Brigadier General Charles Yeager , U.S.A.F Retired
First person to fly faster than the speed of sound, was born in Myra.

Things to Do

West Virginia State Bird and State Flower Printable Color Page.
Before printing under File in Page Setup set margins to zero.

Civil War

Belle Boyd House
Childhood house Belle Boyd a Confederate spy

West Virginia in the Civil War

Sites to See

West Virginia: The Mountain State
Read about West Virginia the only state that lies completely within the Appalachian Mountain region.

The Kanawha Valley and its Prehistoric People

How to Attract the Northern Cardinal to Your Yard


West Virginia Map
Outline (pdf)

West Virginia Flag

West Virginia Word Search

Things To Do-Other Sites

West Virginia State Quarter
Read about the West Virginia State Quarter and print
out the color page.

Black Bear Activities

For Teachers:
Reading Math, Folktales, and much more.

Cubs Corner:
Puzzles, Stories, and much more.

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly

Teacher's Guide To Creating A School Butterfly Garden

Wildlife Theater
butterfly emerging from chrysalis video

Stories to Read

How the Red Bird Got His Color
Cherokee Tale

Miri the Butterfly Fairy


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