Some Delaware citizens wanted the Peach Blossom as the official floral emblem for the State of Delaware, others favored the Golden Rod. In 1895 agriculturists and schoolchildren sent petitions to the legislature pointing out that Delaware had long held the reputation of being the "Peach State" since her orchards contained more than 800,000 peach trees yielding a crop worth thousands of dollars. Their arguments convinced the legislature to adopt the Peach Blossom as the official State Flower on May 9, 1895.
Blue Hen Chicken
During the early days of the Revolutionary War Captain Jonathan Caldwell's Company of Kent County men took with them some game chickens, called Blue Hen Chickens, noted for their fighting ability. The fame of these cockfights spread throughout the American army, and when the Delaware men fought so valorously, they earned the nickname Blue Hen Chickens, after their famous fighting hens. For years the Blue Hen Chicken was unofficially recognized as the State Bird, but not until April 14, 1939, was a law was enacted, making it the official State Bird.
On May 1, 1939, the American Holly, often called the Christmas Holly or Evergreen Holly, became the official State Tree of Delaware. Although in Delaware, the tree rarely exceeds a height of 60 feet, nor a diameter larger than 20 inches, it bears a profusion of sweet smelling flowers in Spring and in Winter, its bright red berries and shiny green leaves add a festive decoration during Christmas celebrations.
As the first of the original thirteen states to ratify the Constitution, Delaware earned the nickname, "The First State." The diamond represents its previous nickname, "The Diamond State." In colonial times, Delaware was likened to a diamond: small but very valuable in the cut and character of it's leaders and in its location on the Atlantic Ocean. The beige and blue colors are reminiscent of the Revolutionary War when General George Washington's troops wore blue coats with beige trim. The coat of arms shows symbols of earlier occupations and products of the state: shipping, farming, hunting and cattle raising.
He's been called "The Penman of the Revolution" due to a series of letters he wrote opposing the Townsend Acts of 1767, which had increased colonists' taxes to pay the salaries of Royal officials. Published in many colonial newspapers, Dickinson's letters rallied public opinion against the Townsend Acts and other unfair practices of the British Crown. He was also the principal author of "Declaration . . . Setting Forth the Causes and Necessity of Their Taking Up Arms." Yet he voted against Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence" because he still hoped disputes with Britain could be settled diplomatically. When war did erupt, however, Dickinson took up arms and served in the patriot militia. Later, as a delegate to the Federal Constitution Convention, he signed the U.S. Constitution and worked for its adoption, again, writing a series of letters. Dickinson College in Pennsylvania is named in his honor.