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Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L. (ed.) / The Wisconsin Blue Book

Wisconsin in 1958,   pp. [69]-[228] PDF (45.4 MB)

Page 75

of the coat of arms are "Dexter, a sailor holding a coil of rope,
proper; sinister, a yeoman resting on a pick, proper." Over the
crest the motto "Forward" was required. The coat of arms is an
integral part of the state seal and also appears on the state flag.
   Motto. The motto "Forward" which is part of the coat of arms,
was introduced in the revision of 1851. Governor Dewey asked the
chancellor of the university, John H. Lathrop, to have a new seal
prepared. The Governor did not like the result, and it is alleged
that during a trip to New York City he and the subsequent Chief
Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Edward Ryan, sat on the
steps of a Wall Street office and evolved the new seal. Justice
Ryan objected to the Latin motto proposed, and as an alternative
they first thought of "Excelsior" which suggested the words "For-
ward", "Upward", "Onward"; and "Forward"
was selected.
   Nickname. The word "Badger" as a nickname of the state was
associated with the miners of the southwest. Miss Louise Kellogg,
long associated with the Wisconsin State Historical Society, reported
that during the mining boom which began just prior to 1830 in the
southwestern portion of the state, the people from Illinois who
were mining came during the good season and left during the bad
season as did the suckers in the small streams. Consequently they
were called "suckers" while the people from Wisconsin, too busy
digging either to leave or to build houses, moved into abandoned
mine shafts to live, and thus became known as "Badgers".
   State tree. The state tree was first selected by a vote of the
school children in 1893, 3,917 schools in 64 counties participating.
The maple tree won, receiving 53,211 votes; the oak received 34,669
votes, the pine 13,590 votes and the elm 16,028 votes. In 1948
another vote was conducted by the youth centennial committee in
which 7 types of trees were nominated as having played an impor-
tant part in the development of the state. In that election held
among the school children between March 1st and April 15th, the
sugar maple tree polled the most votes. Out of 279,847 votes cast,
it polled 87,253 while the white pine polled 71,310 and the birch
41,896. In 1949 the legislature made provision by Chapter 218 for
a new section of the statutes, section 1.10, which named the sugar
maple as the state tree. Even then unsuccessful efforts were made
to amend the proposal to substitute the white pine for the maple.
  State flower. On May 8, 1908, 114,411 school children nominated
4 candidates for the state flower: the violet, the wild rose, the trail-
ing arbutus, and the white water lily. On Arbor Day 1909, the final
vote was taken; and of a total of 147,918 votes cast, the violet
received 67,178, the wild rose 31,024, the arbutus 27,068, and the
lily 22,648. By Chapter 218, Laws of 1949, the wood violet was
named the state flower.

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