State Symbols of District of Columbia

Last updated on August 19th, 2023 by Editorial Staff

The capital city and the federal district of the United States are Washington, D.C., commonly referred to as just Washington or simply D.C.

Washington, D.C. is a district, not a state. DC is an abbreviation for the District of Columbia. 

The name Columbia, originating from the explorer Christopher Columbus, was used as a patriotic reference for the United States during the American Revolution. In 1871, the Territory of Columbia officially was renamed the District of Columbia.

The total area of Washington, D.C. is 11,294.76 sq mi (4,361.45 km), and the total population recorded in the 2020 census is 701,974. 

It is situated on the east bank of the Potomac River, which forms its western and southern borders with the U.S. state of Virginia. Its remaining sides share a land boundary with the U.S. state of Maryland. 

A fun fact about Washington D.C. is President’s Jimmy Carter love for movies. To date, nobody has beat his record of watching 480 movies in the White House movie theater.

Before Washington, D.C. was America’s capital in 1800, Congress met at a variety of locations, including Baltimore, Trenton, and New York City. After years of disagreement among the new nation’s leaders over the location of the capital, Congress approved The Residence Act in July 1790, declaring that the capital would be located somewhere along the Potomac River and granting President George Washington the authority to choose the final location. 

The Residence Act, signed on July 16, 1790, authorized the establishment of a capital district along the Potomac River near the country’s east coast. 

George Washington announced his selection for the federal district in January 1791. In September 1791, the commissioners named the federal city Washington and the territory in which it was located the Territory of Columbia in honor of Washington. George Washington also served as the first president of the United States. 

The first session of Congress was organized there in 1800. During the War of 1812, British troops burned down the city. Georgetown became coterminous with the District of Columbia following its statehood in 1871.

After the American Civil War (1861–1865), Washington, D.C., grew past its originally intended boundaries and was no longer legally separated from the District of Columbia. Washington, D.C., remains a territory, not a state, and has been governed since 1974 by a locally elected mayor and city council over which Congress retains veto power.

The city is an important world political center because it holds the federal government of the United States as well as various international organizations. It is one of the most visited cities in the United States, with more than 20 million tourists in 2016.

Significant buildings include the Capitol, the White House, and the Library of Congress. Among the city’s hundreds of memorials and statues are the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

National and international political activity, scientific research, and tourism are the foundations of its economy.

The state bird is the Wood thrush, and the official language is English

– Learn about District of Columbia flag color codes and their meanings –

State Information

Official Language English
State Rank 20
Demonym(s) Washingtonian
Nickname D.C, The District
Formation Date 1871
Coordinates Lat: 38.942142, Long: -77.025955

State seal

Motto of District of Columbia

Justitia Omnibus-"Justice for All"

State symbols of District of Columbia 👇

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State Flag of District of Columbia