Great things about New Mexico

State Symbols

Expand your knowledge of New Mexico by learning our state symbols. Hey, this might be a great school project.

State Aircraft – New Mexico’s state aircraft is the hot air balloon. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a yearly balloon fiesta that takes place in Albuquerque during early October. This nine day event has around 750 balloons. The event is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.

State Amphibian – The New Mexico spadefoot toad (Spea multiplicata) was designated the official state amphibian of New Mexico in 2003. They get their name from a distinctive spade-like projections on their hind legs which enable them to dig in sandy soils. This species is nocturnal and secretive.


State Bird – The roadrunner was officially adopted March 16, 1949 as the New Mexico state bird. It was adopted under the name “Chaparral Bird”. In Spanish, it is called “El Correcaminos”. The comical roadrunner prefers running to flying and has been clocked at speeds of 15 miles per hour.

State Tie – New Mexico designated the bolo as the offiicial state tie in 2007. A bolo tie (also called bola tie) is a type of necktie consisting of a piece of cord or braided leather with decorative metal tips secured with an ornamental clasp or slide.


State Butterfly – The Sandia hairstreak, or Callophrys macfarlandi, is the official state butterfly. It was discovered in Albuquerque in 1959 at La Cueva Canyon and can easily be found in New Mexico’s wide open spaces, towns and cities among native beargrass. The butterfly is gold and green in color.

State Capitol – The New Mexico State Capitol (also called the Roundhouse), located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the seat of government of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the only round state capitol in the United States. The building was designed to resemble the Zia Sun Symbol when viewed from above


State Cookie – The biscochito is a small anise flavored, shortbread cookie used during special celebrations, wedding receptions, baptisms, and religious days. It was developed by residents of New Mexico over the centuries from the first Spanish colonists of New Mexico.


State Fish – The New Mexico Cutthroat Trout (Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout) is native to the cold mountain streams and lakes of northern New Mexico. It is a dark olive color with sparsely scattered black spots. It derives its name from the red streaks under its throat. Anglers like the small fish for its fighting spirit.


State Flag – The yellow field and red symbol colors are the colors of Spain brought here by Spanish explorers in 1540. On our flag we see a red sun with rays streching out from it. There are four groups of rays with four rays in each group. This is an ancient sun symbol of a Native American people called the Zia.

State Fossil – New Mexico’s state fossil is a small theropod dinosaur, Coelophysis bauri. Although its bones have been found in several southwestern states, the quarry at Ghost Ranch, near Abiquiu, New Mexico, is where all of the best specimens have been found.

State Flower – The yucca is a member of the lily family and a symbol of sturdiness as well as beauty. In the early summer, pale ivory flowers bloom at the tips of its long, fibrous stalks. The plant’s base has broad, sharpedged leaves that look like stilettos and it grows to the height of a small tree.

State Gem – New Mexico designated turquoise as the official state gem in 1967. Probably one of the oldest gemstones known, turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral. Only the prized robin’s egg blue color is used to make gemstones. Occuring as vein or seam fillings, and as compact nuggets.

State Grass – The New Mexico state grass is Blue gramma grass. It grows on a wide array of topographic positions, and in a range of well-drained soil types, from fine to coarse textured.Blue grama is valued as forage, and for landscaping and erosion control. The flowers are also used in dried flower arrangements.

State Insect – The Tarantula Hawk Wasp was adopted as the state insect by the 39th Legislature in 1989. It has a blue-black body and bright rust-colored wings, tarantula hawks are among the largest of wasps and it delivers a sting which is rated among the most painful in the insect world.

State Mammal – The Black bear is our state mammal. They can stand and walk on their hind legs but it is more normal for them to walk on all fours. They stand to get a better scent or to look at something. Their characteristic shuffling gait results from their hind legs being slightly longer than the forelegs.

State Nickname – The “Land of Enchantment” describes New Mexico’s scenic beauty and its rich history. This legend was placed on New Mexico license plates in 1941. This nickname became the official State Nickname of New Mexico on April 8, 1999.

State Seal – New Mexico’s Great Seal has its origins in the 1851 formation of the Territory of New Mexico. The territorial seal featured an American eagle, and the words “Great Seal of the Territory NM”. The motto “Crescit Eundo”, or “It grows as it goes”, was added in 1882, and displays on a banner below the eagles.

State Song – O Fair New Mexico” was officially selected in 1917. It was adopted as the state song by an act of the New Mexico legislaturesigned by Governor Washington E. Lindsey. The author, Elizabeth Garrett, was the daughter of former Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid.

State Tree – The piñon is the official State Tree. This sturdy, slow-growing little evergreen flourishes over a vast area of the state. When the Spanish settlers arrived in New Mexico in the early sixteenth century, they found that the natives harvested the tiny, tasty nuts of the piñon.

State Vegetable – Chile and frijoles are a unique part of the New Mexican diet. Chile is a pungent pepper that is harvested in the early fall, toasted, peeled and served as a delicious stew, stuffed with cheese or made into a favorite recipe. Chile comes in red and green, together New Mexicans call it “Christmas”.

Now do a little exploring of your own, this state like all the others is rich in heritage, and history.  May the people of New Mexico, be blessed, and protected from the attacking prayers of our favorite wackadoos.


See you round the cauldron—Judas






1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kelly Anton
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 09:03:30

    love the state cookie! That’s soo cool! Who knew?


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