Emily Wright, DN Graphic
Indiana General Assembly might recognize Say's Firefly as state insect
In addition to a poem, stone and song, Indiana might adopt a state insect.
Senate Bill 236, which would make the Say's Firefly the official insect of Indiana, passed through the state Senate Tuesday. If the bill passes through both the House and Gov. Eric Holcomb, it would go into effect July.
The bill states Indiana would benefit from having a state insect because it “would provide a unique teaching opportunity for educators, a learning opportunity for Hoosier students, and a point of pride for citizens of Indiana.”
Thomas Say, who lived in New Harmony, Indiana, named the Say’s Firefly in 1824. The firefly is native to Indiana and contributes to the agricultural ecosystem by controlling pests.
According to the bill, Indiana would be the first state to name the Say’s Firefly as its state insect.
The bill has yet to make it to the house, but Indiana currently has 14 state symbols to celebrate before the possible addition of another.
Indiana state seal
In 1963, the General Assembly passed Indiana Code 1-2-4, which outlined the design and description of Indiana’s seal. The seal features a buffalo, woodsman and shoots of bluegrass.
Indiana state poet laureate: Shari Wagner
In 2005, IC 1-2-12 outlined the duties and expectations of the state poet laureate. Each poet laureate serves a two-year term and is required to make schools visits, advise the commission on how to further poetry in Indiana and represent both Indiana and poetry to the public.
Indiana state language: English
English was adopted as Indiana’s state language in 1984 by IC 1-2-10.
Indiana state flower: Peony
From 1931 to 1957, Indiana’s official state flower was a zinnia. However, in 1957 IC 1-2-7 proposed the peony become the state flower. The General Assembly didn’t select a specific color of peony.
Indiana state flag: Blue background with golden torch and stars
Formerly known as the state banner, the state flag was adopted by the General Assembly in 1917 by IC 1-2-2. The flag was designed by Paul Hadley of Mooresville, Indiana, as a part of a Centennial celebration contest hosted by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1916.
Indiana state bird: Cardinal
The cardinal was officially named the Indiana state bird in 1933 by IC 1-2-8. The cardinal is also the mascot of Ball State University and is the state bird for six other states including, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.
Indiana state tree: Tulip tree
In 1931, through Indiana IC 1-2-7, the tulip tree, or the yellow poplar, was named Indiana’s state tree.
Indiana state river: Wabash River
The Wabash River was made the Indiana state river through IC 1-2-11 in 1996. The 475-mile-long river stretches from Ohio and runs throughout two-thirds of Indiana’s 92 counties.
Indiana state stone: Salem Limestone
Salem Limestone, which is found and quarried in south and central Indiana, was named the state stone in 1971 by IC 1-2-9.
Indiana state song: “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away”
The official song of Indiana is “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away” by Paul Dresser. The song was adopted by the General Assembly, IC 1-2-6, in 1913. Dresser was born in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Indiana state poem: “Indiana”
IC 1-2-5, adopted by the General Assembly in 1963, made “Indiana” by Arthur Franklin Mapes, Kendallville, Indiana, the official state poem. (Spoiler alert: it talks about squirrels.)
Indiana state aircraft: The Republic Aviation P-47 Thunderbolt
Also known as the “Indiana Warbird,” The Republic Aviation P-47 Thunderbolt was named the Indiana state aircraft in 2015. The aircraft was produced in Evansville, Indiana, from 1942 to 1945 and was a common ground-attack weapon during World War II.
Indiana state firearm: Grouseland Rifle
Made by Col. John Small, Vincennes, Indiana, the Grouseland Rifle became the official state rifle in 2012. Utah, Arizona, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Alaska and Tennessee also have official state firearms.
(Unofficial) Indiana state pie: Sugar cream pie
Senate Resolution No. 59 recognized sugar cream pie, or “Hoosier pie” as the unofficial pie of Indiana in 2009. The basic ingredients of sugar cream pie are sugar, butter and milk.