The Mountain Laurel was chosen as Connecticut's State Flower in 1907. This cheery pink and white blossoming plant is native to America and was first mentioned in John Smith's "General History" published in 1624.
The American Robin was chosen in 1943 as Connecticut's State Bird. The common name "robin" applies to a number of birds, but the American Robin refers specifically to the migratory thrush, which has a red or tawny breast and a loud cheerful song. Unlike other birds the American Robin often prefers to winter in New England rather than heading South.
The history of the Charter Oak Tree goes back to 1662 when King Charles II of England granted Connecticut a self-governing charter. But 25 years later King James II revoked the charter and ordered the colonists to return it. When the colonists refused, James sent armed soldiers to forcibly retrieve it. But the colonists hid the Charter in a White Oak Tree, which stood until a storm in 1856 brought it down. The wood was later used to carve the famous "Wishing Chair" (See Artifacts) now in the Senate Chamber at the State Capitol.
The blue background of the flag represents the sky and the three grapevines symbolize the three settlements (New Haven, Saybrook and Connecticut) which originally made up the state.
"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
Nathan Hale was a young school teacher from Connecticut who volunteered to spy on the British forces that were occupying New York during the American Revolutionary War. His mission dictated that he go alone. Only 21 years old, with an unclear assignment, and no prior training, he managed to penetrate the British lines on Long Island but was captured while trying to return to his regiment. He was hanged without a trial.