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Arizona Experience Store

Arizona Facts

Year of Statehood: 1912

Population: 6,392,017 (2010 Census)

State Capitol: Phoenix

State Motto: Ditat Deus (God Enriches)

State Nickname: The Grand Canyon State

Largest City: Phoenix, population 1,445,632 (U.S. Census)

State Size: 113,909 square miles

State Flag

State Flag: Adopted in 1917. The 13 rays of red and gold on the top half of the flag represent both the 13 original colonies of the Union, and the rays of the Western setting sun. The red and the blue are the same shades as the flag of the USA. The flag was designed by Charles W. Harris and first sewn by Nan D. Hayden. Blue and yellow are the Arizona colors, and red and yellow the colors of the Spanish Conquistadores headed by Coronado who first came to Arizona in 1540. The copper star represents Arizona as the largest producer of copper in the nation.

State SealState Seal: Adopted in 1911. Arizona’s main enterprises and attractions are represented in the seal. In the background of the seal is a range of mountains with the sun rising behind the peaks. At the right side of the mountains is a water storage reservoir and a dam, with irrigated fields and orchards. There are cattle grazing on the right, a quartz mill and a miner with a pick and shovel on the left. Above the drawing is the Arizona state motto, Ditat Deus.

State Gem: Turquoise. Turquoise was designated the official gemstone of Arizona in 1974. It’s a blue-green, waxy-surfaced stone used for centuries in Southwest Indian Jewelry. It can be found throughout the Southwest and is composed of hydrous oxide of aluminum and copper.

Official Neckwear: Bola Tie. Designated the official neck ware of Arizona in 1973, the bola tie (sometimes referred to as a bolo tie) is a type of necktie consisting of a piece of cord or braided leather with a decorative metal tips secured with an ornamental clasp or slide. It’s usually made by silversmiths and leather makers in almost every size and shape, most often with silver and turquoise.

State Fossil: Petrified Wood. Petrified wood was designated the state fossil of Arizona in 1988. It was formed from trees alive in Triassic time, over 200 million years ago. These trees grew in high mountain ranges in central Arizona.

State Songs: “Arizona March Song” and “Arizona”

 Living State SymbolsLiving State Symbols

State Tree: Palo Verde. Designated the official state tree of Arizona in 1954 the words “Palo Verde” are Spanish for “green stick.”  They bloom in spring (late March to early May) with brilliant yellow-gold flowers.

State Bird: Cactus Wren. Cactus wrens eat insects, seeds, and fruit. They often build their nests inside a cactus to protect them from predators.

State Flower: Blossom of the Saguaro Cactus. The pure white waxy blossom of the giant saguaro cactus was designated the state flower of Arizona in 1931. It blooms on the tips of the saguaro cactus during the May and June months.

State Mammal: Ringtail. Ringtails are cat-sized carnivores resembling a small fox with a long raccoon-like tail. The tail is about the length of the head and body with 14–16 black and white bands and a black tip.

State Reptile: Arizona Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnake. First known to science in 1905, this small brown snake is one of the most primitive rattlesnakes found in this country.

State Fish: Apache Trout. It is found nowhere else in the world besides the coldwater streams in the White Mountains of Arizona.

State Amphibian: Arizona Tree Frog. This small frog is commonly green but can be gold or bronze with a dark stripe from the snout through the eyes and along the sides.

Adoption of Living Symbols

In 1985, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission ran an "Arizona Wildlife Awareness" program. Part of this program was the opportunity for thousands of schoolchildren from around the state to vote for an official state mammal, reptile, fish and amphibian.

Students studied 800 species in an effort to determine the best choice, with four finalists for each category. Information flyers on the four species in each category were produced to help the students make the final decision. 

On August 13, 1986, the ringtail, Arizona ridgenosed rattlesnake, Apache trout, and Arizona treefrog joined the cactus wren, saguaro blossom, and palo verde as official living state symbols.


Source: http://azgovernor.gov/AZSpotlight/Kids_Facts.asp, http://arizonaguide.com/arizona-travel-info/learn-about-arizona/arizona-facts, and US Census

  • 1974. Petrified Wood from the Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO) in northern Arizona.  PEFO attracts many researchers including geologists who study the Chinle Formation, archeologists researching over 13,000 years of history, and biologists studying one of the best remnants of native Arizona grassland.

  • 1982. This stamp shows the official State bird (Cactus Wren) and flower (Saguaro Blossom) of Arizona.

  • Part of the World War II - 1942: Into the Battle Series.  1992.

    During World War I and II the U.S. military required secure communications to protect radio, telephone, and telegraphic messages from the enemy.  Many Native American tribes contributed their language and dialect as "code talkers" to protect sensitive information.  In 2002 Congress passed the Code Talkers Recognition Act to recognize the important part that these Soldiers played in the wars.

  • 2004. This stamp features artist Lou Nolan's painted detail of a Navajo silver and turquoise necklace with sand-cast squash blossoms set with polished blue turquoise nuggets. Nolan based his painting on a photograph by Peter T. Furst. The necklace itself belongs to a private collector and is believed to have been made sometime during the 1940s or 1950s. (https://store.usps.com)

  • 1962. Stamp to commemorate Arizona's 50th anniversary of Statehood.  Arizona was the last of the contiguous states to be admitted.

  • 1976. In celebration of the Nation's bicentennial, this stamp shows the Arizona state flag.  The flag includes 13 red and gold rays representing the 13 original counties of the state and the rays of the setting sun.  Red and gold were the colors of the flag carried by Coronado's 1540 expedition.  The star in the center represents Arizona as the nation's largest producer of copper.  The blue, is the same blue used in the U.S. flag and represents Liberty.  The flag was designed by Colonel Charles W. Harris in 1910. 

  • 1998. Representing the State tree of Arizona.  The tree occurs across the Sonoran Desert.

  • 1994. "Buffalo Soldiers" is the nickname applied to the predominantly black members of the U.S. Army 10th Cavalry Regiment.  The name was originally coined by the Indian tribes the soldiers fought.  From 1885 to 1890, the 10th Cavalry was transferred from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to Arizona.

  • 1992.  Arizona is the nation's leading Copper producer.

  • 1940. In 1540 Spanish Conquistador Francisco Vazquez de Coronado journeyed through Arizona with 339 soldiers and over 1,100 Indian allies seeking the fabled Seven Golden Cities of Cibola.  The expedition established Spain's claim to the territories that later included Arizona.  The Coronado National Memorial in Southeastern Arizona was established in 1940.

  • 1957. U.S. flag indicating 48 states.  Arizona was the 48th state to join the U.S.

  • 1953. Gadsden Purchase Centennial stamp celebrates 100 years since the purchase of 29,670 square miles of what is now southern Arizona and New Mexico as ratified by the U.S. Senate and signed by President Franklin Pierce on June 24,1853.

  • 1994. Geronimo (1829-1909) defended his people, the Chiricahua Apache, and lands.  He was well known for daring exploits and numerous escapes as well as having a reputation as a fierce warrior.

  • 1934. The first in a series of four face-different U.S. stamps to picture the Grand Canyon as seen by Coronado's men.  Arizona is known as the "Grand Canyon State."

  • 2000. This stamp shows a mirror image Lipan Point on the canyon's South Rim under storm clouds.  A ranger at Grand Canyon National Park indicated to the U.S. Postal Service that the image was incorrect.  The photographer of the image did not recognize the mistake on the image proof.

  • 2002. Greetings from Arizona is intended to be a tourism promotion for the state demonstrating the beauty of the Sonoran Desert (foreground) and the sandstone monoliths of Monument Valley (background).

  • 1935. Named after Herbert Hoover, who was instrumental in the dam's construction, the dam originally opened as Boulder Dam under the Roosevelt administration. 

  • 1977. The Hopi Indians live in northeastern Arizona.  Hopi pottery has featured yellow and orange decorations with bold designs for more than six centuries.  This Hopi Pot can be viewed at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

  • 1969. John Wesley Powell is perhaps most famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition in which ten men and three boats traveled more than 900 miles down the Green and Colorado rivers over a three month period.  Powell was a Civil War veteran, geologist, and explorer.  Lake Powell along the Utah and Arizona border is named in his honor.

  • 1994. Known as "The Pathfinder," John C. Fremont (1813-1890) was a U.S. military officer, explorer, and the first Presidential candidate of the anti-slavery Republican party.  He was also the fifth territorial Governor of Arizona. 

  • 1998. This stamp commemorates John C. Fremont's role in exploring the West in the 1840's and 1850's by reissuing the original 5 cent piece originally printed in 1898.  Fremont was Governor of the Arizona Territory from 1878-1883.

  • 2007.  Part of the U.S. Postal Service's 2007 "Pollination" series the image includes a long nosed bat and hummingbird.

  • 1912. U.S. Parcel Post, Mail Train 5 cents.  U.S. Parcel Post stamps are some of the shortest-lived U.S. stamps with only a six month usage period from January through June of 1913.

  • 1995. Monument Valley is located on the northern border of Arizona and southern Utah primarily within the Navajo Nation Reservation.  It is called "the Valley of the Rocks" and features a number of sandstone monoliths.  This stamp features "the Mittens" named for their thumb-like spires.

  • 1986.  The Navajo Nation Reservation is predominately in Arizona, yet spans the four corners area.  The textiles produced by the Navajo are highly regarded as valuable trade items.

  • 1994. Ellen (Nellie) Cashman of Cork County, Ireland worked in mining camps in Nevada and Canada before coming to Arizona and opening a restaurant in Tombstone called the Russ House (now known as Nellie Cashman's).  She opened a number of restaurants and boarding houses across the state.

  • 1958. From 1857-1867, the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach took mail from the end of the railroads in St. Louis, MO to California.  The mail was required by contract to go through Yuma, Arizona.

  • 1961. This stamp features "The Trail Boss" by Charles M. Russell and emphasizes the importance of range conservation throughout the decades, particularly with Arizona's rich agricultural past.

  • 1987. The Ringtail is the mammal of the State of Arizona.  It is a cat-sized omnivore named for its long, raccoon-like tail.  Ringtail's hunt at night and spend the day asleep in their dens.

  • 1948. The Rough Riders was the nickname of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, which was led by Theodore Roosevelt in 1898 Spanish-American War.  This stamp commemorates their service by featuring a statue of a Rough Rider on horseback in Prescott, Arizona.

  • 1971. Features the historic Spanish Catholic mission that is 10 miles south of Tucson, Arizona.  The mission is on the Tohono O'odham San Xavier Indian Reservation and is situated on a centuries-old Indian settlement on the Santa Cruz River.  The mission was founded in 1699.

  • 1999. The Sonoran Desert covers approximately 100,000 square miles of the U.S. Southwest and Northwestern Mexico.  The Desert is one of America's most diverse deserts as it includes giant cacti; short, drought-resistant trees; and a variety of shrubbery.  High summer temperatures exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit are countered by moderate winters fostering a variety of plant life.  This sheet features artist John D. Dawson's portrayal of 25 animal and plant species and includes ten self-adhesive stamps.

  • 1995. The 1939 film Stagecoach was the first talking Western directed by John Ford and was set in Monument Valley.  John Wayne (1907-1979) stared as the fugitive Ringo Kid in this breakout roll. 

  • 2006. The Saguaro cactus is a traditional symbol of the American Southwest, yet it is only found in a small region.  Saguaro's grow slowly over decades.  A ten year old plant may be less than six inches high; some specimen live for more than 150 years.  The tallest Saguaro is in Maricopa County, Arizona and is 45.3 feet tall and 10 feet in circumference.

  • 1998. Jacob Snively found the first gold strike around 1857 in Gila City which became Arizona's first boom town.  Gold and silver are found in Arizona; however, Arizona is best known for copper.  The first commercial strike of copper was in 1864 by Henry Clifton.

  • 1994. Wyatt Earp (1849-1929) first came to the Arizona territory as a teamster in Prescott before moving to Tombstone with his two brothers, James and Virgil.  They were joined in 1879 by brothers Morgan and Warren as well as Wyatt's friend Doc Holiday.  Wyatt was Deputy Sheriff in Pima County and participated in the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881.

  • Officers of the Inspiration Colsolidated Copper Company, 1964

  • I started with the AZ flag and the Arizona Centennial.  Arizona has one of the coolest license plates, so I put 100 YRS. as the caption and 1912 in the date box. I drew references to Native American art work. I also drew the state bird and flower. The pottery picture in the lower right corner is a classic pottery design to the native Hohokam Indians. The picture to the left of the state/flag represents how beautiful the Arizona sunsets are. I couldn't forget the legendary Route 66. For art I drew the paintbrush and the pottery for education and the pencil, paper, and school bus. I added the five C's in a student's notes on the state of Arizona.


     A San Francisco Giant signs balls from the top of the dugout.

  • Powell’s first explored the Colorado River from May 24–August 30, 1969.


    The Gadsden Purchase added some of the country’s richest mineral districts to American soil.

  • Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Coronado’s journey.