IDAHO STATE FACTS
Name: Originally suggested for Colorado, the name "Idaho" was used for a steamship which traveled the Columbia River. With the discovery of gold on the Clearwater River in 1860, the diggings began to be called the Idaho mines. "Idaho" is a coined or invented word, and is not a derivation of an Indian phrase "E Dah Hoe (How)" supposedly meaning "gem of the mountains."
Nickname: The "Gem State"
Motto: "Esto Perpetua" (Let it be perpetual) 
Discovered by Europeans: 1805, the last of the 50 states to be sighted.
Organized as Territory: March 4, 1863, act signed by President Lincoln.
Entered Union: July 3, 1890, 43rd state to join the Union.
IDAHO STATE SYMBOLS
State Song The music for the Idaho state song, composed by Sallie Hume Douglas, was copyrighted on November 4, 1915, under the title "Garden of Paradise." In 1917, McKinley Helm, a student at the University of Idaho, wrote the verse which became the chorus of the Idaho State song, and Alice Bessee set the words to the music by Sallie Hume Douglas. The song was popular then, and Alice Bessee had no idea of its origin. This song won the annual University prize for that year, and eventually became the University alma mater. Albert J. Tompkins, Director of Music in the Boise Public Schools, wrote a set of verses for the song. In 1931, the Idaho legislature designated "Here We Have Idaho", previously known at the University of Idaho as "Our Idaho", as the Idaho state song. 
Here We Have Idaho 
And here we have Idaho--Winning her way to fame,
Silver and gold in the sunlight blaze, and romance in her name.
Singing, we're singing of you, ah, proudly too, all our lives thru,
We'll go singing, singing of you, singing of Idaho. 
You've heard of the wonders our land does possess,
It's beautiful valleys and hills, The majestic forests where nature abounds,
We love every nook and rill. 
There's truly one state in this great land of ours 
Where ideals can be realized 
The pioneers made it so for you and me 
A legacy we'll always prize.
State Insect The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) was adopted asthe state insect by the state legislature in 1992. The Monarch Butterfly is a unique insect. It is a great migrator, traveling many miles during its lifetime, which can be from a few weeks up to a year. Monarchs go through a complete metamorphosis in three to six weeks.
State Fish The Cutthroat trout was designated the state fish by the 1990 legislature. The Cutthroat, along with the Rainbow and Bull Trout, is native to Idaho. The body color varies with the back ranging from steel gray to olive green. The sides may be yellow brown with red or pink along the belly. The Cutthroat's name comes from the distinctive red to orange slash on the underside of its lower jaw. 
State Bird The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia arctcia) was adopted as the state bird for Idaho by the state legislature in 1931. The Bluebird is about seven inches long, has an azure blue coat, and a blue vest with white underfeathers. The mother bird wears a quiet blue-gray dress and usually lays six or seven blue-white eggs. The Bluebird's nest is usually built in a hollow tree or in a crevice. The Bluebird is very neat about one's home and carries all refuse some distance from the nest.
State Horse The Appaloosa is an intelligent, fast and hard working breed. An easy going disposition and exceptional abilities give this horse a great deal of versatility that no doubt contributes to its rapidly rising popularity. Once the warhorses of the Nez Perce, today the Appaloosa serves as a racehorse, in parades, ranch work and youth programs. The coloring of the Appaloosa's coat is distinct in every individual horse and ranges from white blanketed hips to a full leopard. Adopted by the 1975 legislature. 
State Tree The Western White Pine (Pinus Monticola pinaceae), our state tree, is probably most notable since the largest remaining volume of this timber in the United States grows in the northern part of Idaho. White Pine has many fine qualities such as straight grain and soft even texture. Adopted by the 1935 legislature.
State Gem Stone Adopted by the 1967 Legislature, the Idaho Star Garnet is treasured throughout the world by collectors. This stone is considered more precious than either Star Rubies or Star Sapphires. Normally the star in the Idaho Garnet has four rays, but occasionally one has six rays as in a sapphire. The color is usually dark purple or plum and the star seems to glide or float across the dark surface.
State Flower The Syringa (Philadelphus lewisii) was designated the state flower of Idaho by the legislature in 1931. It is a branching shrub with clusters of white, fragrant flowers. The blossoms are similar to the mock orange, have four petals, and the flowers grow at the ends of short, leafy branches.
State Fossil The 1988 legislature designated the Hagerman Horse Fossil (species Equus simplicidens originally described as Plesippus shoshonensis) as the official state fossil. A rich fossil bed 3.5 million years old, which has yielded over 130 complete horse skeletons, was discovered in the 1920s near Hagerman and is said to be the best known Pleistocene-epoch fossil site in the world.
State Flag A silk flag, with a blue field, 5 feet 6 inches fly, 4 feet 4 inches on pike is bordered by gilt fringe 2 1/2 inches wide, with the State Seal of Idaho in the center. The words "State of Idaho" are embroidered in gold block letters two inches high on a red band below the Great Seal. Adopted by the 1907 legislature.
State Folk Dance The 1989 legislature designated the square dance as the American Folk Dance of Idaho. The square dance was first associated with the American people and recorded in history since 1651. Square dancing includes squares, rounds, clogging, contra, line and heritage dances. 
HISTORY OF THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE
SEAL FOR IDAHO TERRITORY 1863
No official record remains of the adoption of the first Great Seal of Idaho when it became a territory in 1863. The design is attributed to Silas D. Cochran, a clerk in the office of the Secretary of State. 
IDAHO'S FINAL SEAL BEFORE STATEHOOD 1890
Dissatisfaction with the official seal caused Governor Caleb Lyon to present a seal of his own design which was accepted by the Idaho Territorial Legislature on January 11, 1866. This, too, was controversial and was redrawn several times. Nevertheless, it was used until Idaho became a state in 1890. 
STATE SEAL NOW IN USE
In 1957, the thirty-fourth session of the Idaho legislature authorized the updating and improvement of the Great Seal in order to more clearly define Idaho's main industries, mining, agriculture and forestry as well as highlight the state's natural beauty. Paul B. Evans and the Caxton Printers, Ltd. were commissioned to revise the seal. This painting by Paul B. Evans officially replaced the original design by Emma Edwards Green and is designated as the "Official Copy." The official Great Seal of the State of Idaho can be seen in the office of the Secretary of State. 
EMMA EDWARDS GREEN at the period when she designed the Great Seal for the State of Idaho. The only woman ever to achieve such distinction in the United States, she won in competition sponsored by the First Legislature for the State of Idaho. She was handed the honorarium by Governor Norman B. Willey on March 5, 1891. 
One of the most beautiful and impressive state seals, the original painting is held in trust by the Idaho Historical Society. 
STATE SEAL NOW IN USE
By Emma Edwards Green, the Designer 
Before designing the seal, I was careful to make a thorough study of the resources and future possibilities of the State. I invited the advice and counsel of every member of the Legislature and other citizens qualified to help in creating a Seal of State that really represented Idaho at that time. Idaho had been admitted into the Union on July 3rd, 1890. The first state Legislature met in Boise on December 8, 1890, and on March 14th, 1891, adopted my design for the Great Seal of the State of Idaho. 
The question of Woman Suffrage was being agitated somewhat, and as leading men and politicians agreed that Idaho would eventually give women the right to vote, and as mining was the chief industry, and the mining man the largest financial factor of the state at that time, I made the figure of the man the most prominent in the design, while that of the woman, signifying justice, as noted by the scales; liberty, as denoted by the liberty cap on the end of the spear, and equality with man as denoted by her position at his side, also signifies freedom. The pick and shovel held by the miner, and the ledge of rock beside which he stands, as well as the pieces of ore scattered about his feet, all indicate the chief occupation of the State. The stamp mill in the distance, which you can see by using a magnifying glass, is also typical of the mining interest of Idaho. The shield between the man and woman is emblematic of the protection they unite in giving the state. The large fir or pine tree in the foreground in the shield refers to Idaho's immense timber interests. The husbandman plowing on the left side of the shield, together with the sheaf of grain beneath the shield, are emblematic of Idaho's agricultural resources, while the cornucopias, or horns of plenty, refer to the horticultural. Idaho has a game law, which protects the elk and moose. The elk's head, therefore, rises above the shield. The state flower, the wild Syringa or Mock Orange, grows at the woman's feet, while the ripened wheat grows as high as her shoulder. The star signifies a new light in the galaxy of states. . . . The river depicted in the shield is our mighty Snake or Shoshone River, a stream of great majesty. 
In regard to the coloring of the emblems used in the making of the Great Seal of the State of Idaho, my principal desire was to use such colors as would typify pure Americanism and the history of the State. As Idaho was a virgin state, I robed my goddess in white and made the liberty cap on the end of the spear the same color. In representing the miner, I gave him the garb of the period suggested by such mining authorities as former United States Senator George Shoup, of Idaho, former Governor Norman B. Willey if Idaho, former Governor James H. Hawley of Idaho, and other mining men and early residents of the state who knew intimately the usual garb of the miner. Almost unanimously they said, "Do not put the miner in a red shirt." "Make the shirt a grayish brown," said Captain J.J. Wells, chairman of the Seal Committee. The "Light of the Mountains" is typified by the rosy glow which precedes the sunrise.