Happy Birthday West Virginia

West Virginia state flag

Today is June 20th and it is West Virginia’s 145th birthday. We are thankful that we are free mountaineers. West Virginia is in the heart of the Appalachian Highlands. It is a very beautiful place to live and is nick named the Mountain State. West Virginia entered the union on June 20, 1863 as the 35th state. The state capital of West Virginia is Charleston which is the largest city State fruit - Apples in the state. West Virginia ranks 41st in size with a total area of 24,231 sq mi. including 145 sq mi of inland water. The mountain state is 1,500 ft above sea level which makes it the highest state east of the Mississippi River. West Virginia has warm humid summers and cold humid winters and is a great place for sledding 🙂 79 percent of West Virginia has hardwood forest with commercial species of oak, yellow poplar, maple, birch, beech, black walnut, hickory, and gum. But it also has State insect - Honey beesoftwoods including pines and hemlock firs. There are also flower trees such as wild crab apple, dogwood, hawthorn, and redbud. Among the many flowering bushes and plants are the rhododendron, which is the state flower, the laurel, blueberry, hepatica, wild geranium, and black-eyed Susan. There are deer, State Gem - Chalcedony geodeblack bear, bears, cougars, beaver, otter, marten, raccoon, mink, skunks, opossums, squirrels, rabbit, bobcats, foxes, and ground hogs. And there was buffalo and elk in West Virginia at one time. Maybe that’s where the name of our hill, Buffalo Calf, came from. Birds and fish are also numerous.

We are very proud of all our inventions. One of the most widely used is the toothbrush. We know it was invented in West Virginia because if it had been invented anywhere else it would have been called a teethbrush 🙂

We also have lots of dragon milk in West Virginia. You see, because of the hills, the cows have two legs that are shorter than the other two. That’s how we get draggin’ milk 🙂State Animal - Black Bear

West Virginia state symbols.

State Animal-Black Bear

State Bird- Cardinal State Bird - Cardinal

State Butterfly-Monarch butterfly

State Colors-Old gold and blue

State Fish-Brook Trout

State Flower-Big Laurel State butterfly - Monarch Butterfly(Rhododendron)

State Fruit-Apple

State Gem-Chalcedony

State Insect-Honeybee

State Reptile-State Fish - Brook TroutTimber rattlesnake

State Soil-Monongahela Silt Loam.

State song-“West Virginia Hills”

State Tree-Sugar Maple State Flower - Rhododendron

Our state motto is : Montani sempre libere – Mountaineers are always free. Just as our forefather’s dreamed and fought for political freedom, so there is a need in our day for spiritual and moral freedom from the bondage of sin.


  1. Robert June 20, 2008 at 9:04 pm #

    Hooray for “Almost Heaven, West Virginia!” Wow! There is a lot about our wonderful state that even I didn’t know. Thanks for the inspiring post, Jonathan!

  2. When we read the description of the New Jerusalem this morning in Rev. 22, I wondered what the foundation garnished with chalcedony would look like. I didn’t know that was our state gem!

  3. Esther June 21, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    Actually, it was just I who wrote the above comment.

  4. Joshua June 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm #

    Happy Birthday West Virginia! I can tell you had fun putting this post together Jonathan. Well summarized at the end. I rejoice that the Lord has called 10 of His children to reside in the state. He is using you all, through your ministry and simple day to day living therein, to impact the hollows 🙂 around you!

  5. Donald June 22, 2008 at 3:43 am #

    That really was good to read Jonathan. It happens I read Revelation 22 this morning too even though I wasn’t following the day-by-day reading. So I read about where it mentioned the chalcedony stone as well!
    Also I have a real appreciation for blog post design after having a year or two to see what it takes to write one. Thank you for writing in an interesting way and taking the time to find exceptional pictures. I’m the one who added the part about Buffalo Calf so I hope you don’t mind! You really did cover a lot in one post.

  6. Michael June 22, 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    I could talk for a long time about the beauty that God has placed in West Virginia. One thing I like the most is the deep shady forests. Like you said, 80% of the stated is wooded – and the hills add a lot to that! Another thing I especially like is the weather. Where we lived before, I was rarely satisfied with the amount of snow we received. At the same time, I wouldn’t have it any colder. And in the summer it remains cool in the mornings for working while the afternoons are the perfect temperature to relax outside. I just came inside from sitting on the porch, watching and listening to the birds. Their songs went on and on and on filling the whole valley with the sweetest of music. It amazed me how they all sounded so good together unlike a bunch of instruments being played independantly. It was fun to watch the deer on the way to Church this morning. Thanks for posting this Jonathan. W.Va. truly is WILD AND WONDERFUL!

  7. James June 22, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    I could talk a long time too, Jonathan, about your wonderful post. I really liked the part about “warm humid summers and cold humid winters;” it is all too true. 🙂

    I think the prettiest plant in the world (well, of all the ones I’ve seen so far) is the rhododendron. I’m glad it’s beautiful blooms won the prize of being state flower.

    Old gold and blue? Reminds me of something… Go Mountaineers!

    I didn’t know that the Timber Rattler was the state reptile; that is really neat! I’ve only seen one there though. It reminds me of the stories old timers have told us about their fight for survival in the WV wilderness way back when.

    Robert said he told your jokes to some people at dinner tonight and they just about died laughing. They say the only things Robert can talk about is Mountain Dew and West Virginia. With so many people coming through, I think I can justify that (at least, the WV part).

    Thanks so much for your post!

  8. Jonathan June 27, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    Thanks you all for your comments. Yes Donald I really liked what you added. What a joy to hear from others out of these hills!

  9. linda cheshire April 25, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    I loved this article! I was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in West Virginia!(in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s!) Both were wonderful rich places to grow in! I loved all the beauty and simplicity of West Virginia and still love it and wish I could visit more. Thanks for posting this. It is completly lovely! God really does shine on West Virginia! linda

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