Macrophyllum, or Coast Rhododendron
In 1892 the state needed an official State Flower to enter into the floral exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Six flowers were considered and narrowed down to two: the rhododendron and clover. Only the women of the state voted and the Rhododendron won.
From 1931 to 1951 the state of Washington had two state birds. The first, the Meadowlark, was chosen by schoolchildren in 1928, but seven other states already had that bird. In 1931, the Federation of Women's Clubs held another vote and selected the Goldfinch. The two State Birds coexisted peacefully until the schoolchildren voted again in 1951 to accept the delicate yellow bird, and the Goldfinch has reigned ever since.
The state of Washington originally wanted the Douglas Fir as its State Tree. But Oregon beat them to it. In 1946 Oregon newspapers, teasing Washington for not having a State Tree, suggested the Western Hemlock. Washington newspapers, on the other hand wanted to choose their own and came up with the Western Red Cedar. But State Representative George Adams pleaded with the State Legislature to go with the Hemlock, which it did in 1947.
The singular image on this flag, set against a green background, is that of face of President George Washington, for whom this state is named. The date 1889 is when the state was admitted into the Union.
"I will not dwell on, nor mourn over, our untimely decay, nor reproach my paleface brothers with hastening it, as we too may have been somewhat to blame. . . .But let us hope that the hostilities between us may never return. We would have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Revenge by young men is considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives, but old men who stay at home in times of war, and mothers who have sons to lose, know better."
In his youth, Seattle (also spelled Seathl) was a courageous, skillful and charismatic Duwamish warrior. Leadership was in the young warrior's blood: his mother was the daughter of a Duwamish chief; his father, a Susquamish chief. Chief Seattle gained control of both the Duwamish and Susquamish tribes, as well as four other local tribes. As head of these six tribes, he established friendly relations with the local white settlers. He was strongly influenced by French missionaries and subsequently converted to Catholicism, introducing morning and evening services among his tribes which continued long past his death.
During an Indian uprising from 1855-1858, Seattle stayed loyal to the white settlers. In appreciation, the settlers wanted to name their town after him, but he declined, saying that every time someone said his name, it would interrupt his eternal sleep. To compensate for his restless eternity, the settlers agreed to pay him a tax in advance. Although Chief Seattle died on June 7, 1866, his name still lives as the chief city in Washington.