Thursday, June 20, 2013
Happy 150th Birthday to my favorite state!
Whereas, by the Act of Congress approved the 31st day of December, last, the State of West Virginia was declared to be one of the United States of America, and was admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever, upon the condition that certain changes should be duly made in the proposed Constitution for that State;
And, whereas, proof of a compliance with that condition, as required by the second section of the act aforesaid has been submitted to me;
Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby, in pursuance of the act of Congress aforesaid, declare and proclaim that the said act shall take effect and be in force, from and after sixty days from the date hereof.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this twentieth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
Other contenders for the state name:
There is within the boundary of the new State a large county of the same name as the one proposed for the State – the county of Kanawha, which has been one of the most prominent points within the boundaries of the new State. In looking over the United States, I believe we can find no instance where any subdivision of a state bears the name of the state itself. I believe – I have referred somewhat to the gazetteers, and from my recollection this is the case. Take it in the State of Ohio. We find no county, no town, no subdivision within that state bearing the name of the state itself.
The WV State Constitution
Constitution of West Virginia.
1. The State of West Virginia shall be and remain one of the United States of America. The Constitution of the United States, and the laws and treaties made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law of the land.
2. The following counties, formerly parts of the State of Virginia, shall be included in, and form part of, the State of West Virginia, namely: the counties of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor, Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Doddridge, Harrison, Wood, Jackson, Wirt, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Barbour, Tucker, Lewis, Braxton, Upshur, Randolph, Mason, Putnam, Kanawha, Clay, Nicholas, Cabell, Wayne, Boone, Logan, Wyoming, Mercer, McDowell, Webster, Pocahontas, Fayette, Raleigh, Greenbrier and Monroe.
Five counties, Grant, Mineral, Lincoln, Summers and Mingo, were added later.
The State Seal
Joseph H. Diss Debar, an artist from Doddridge county, was chosen by the Legislature to prepare drawings for an official seal for the State of West Virginia. He submitted his drawings with an explanation of each detail. From these drawings, the Legislature adopted a seal which remains the Great Seal of the State of West Virginia to this day.
The seal contains the Latin motto Montani Semper Liberi, which means Mountaineers Are Always Free. A large stone in the center of the seal stands for strength. On the stone is the date on which West Virginia was admitted to the Union, June 20th, 1863. The farmer with his axe represents agriculture and the miner with his pick represents industry. In front of the rock are two rifles, crossed and surmounted at the place of contact by the cap of liberty, indicating that freedom and liberty were won and will be maintained by force of arms.
State Capitol: Charleston
State Animal: Black Bear
State Bird: Cardinal
State Fruit: Golden Delicious Apple
State Fish: Brook Trout
State Flower: Rhododendron
State Butterfly: Monarch
State Tree: Sugar Maple
State Insect: Honeybee
State Nickname: “The Mountain State”
State Gem: Lithostrotionella
State Soil: Monongahela Silt Loam
Official Colors: Old Gold and Blue
West Virginia State Flag