The State Bird of Georgia
The State Flower and Tree of Georgia
The State Flower of Georgia is the Cherokee Rose. The Cherokee Rose is a white rose - it actually doesn't look much like what many would picture as a rose - and it isn't native to Georgia at all. It originated in the Far East, coming to us from Southern China and Taiwan.
The Cherokee Rose is often associated with the Trail of Tears. It is said that when the Cherokee were forced to leave their land, the mothers of the tribe cried and where their tears fell, the roses bloomed.
The state tree of Georgia is the Live Oak. The live oak was adopted as the official state tree in 1937.
The State Flag of Georgia
The current Georgia state flag was adopted in May 8, 2003. The flag is similar in appearance to the American flag, with red and white stripes and a blue square with a starred seal in the upper left corner. There are only three striped on the flag. In the blue box, the seal includes the state motto, "Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation," and thirteen stars to signify that Georgia was one of the thirteen original colonies.
Georgia has gone through many different flag designs. The most recent retired flag, used from 1956 - 2001 and then 2001 - 2003, both featured Confederate symbols, a holdover from Georgia's allegiance to the South during the Civil War. Many Georgia residents found this offensive, leading to today's current flag, free of the reference. The current state flag as designed by the Georgia legislature and voted on in a public referendum.
The State Song of Georgia
The State Song of Georgia is "Georgia on my Mind," written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael (music) and Stuart Gorrell (lyrics). While it's nice to think that someone wrote the song about our lovely state, it has been said that it was actually - as many song are - written about a girl. A girl named Georgia. Georgia was Hoagy Carmichael's sister.
The familiar Ray Charles version was recorded in 1960, and soared to the number one spot on the Billboard charts. The tune became Georgia's official state song in 1979, after Ray Charles performed the song live for the Georgia legislature.
For several years, the phrase was featured on Georgia license plates. It also appears on signs at the state line.
The State Fruit and Crop of Georgia
Now, this one you know. The state fruit of Georgia is the peach! The peach became the state fruit in 1995. While Georgia is a top producer of peaches, domestically, it's actually not number one. That honor goes to California, and even South Carolina beats us at our own fruit!
Also adopted in 1995, the state crop of Georgia is the peanut. Georgia produces half of the peanuts in the United States, and also half of the peanuts used for peanut butter production. We're the leading peanut exporter in the nation. I like mine boiled!