State Symbols of Kentucky

Last updated on January 21st, 2023 by Editorial Staff

Kentucky is a constituent state in the Southeastern part of the United States. Kentucky is officially called the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

Since bluegrass can be found in many of the state’s meadows and lawns, Kentucky has been nicknamed the Bluegrass State. Bluegrass is green, not blue. The grass produces blue-purple buds which give a rich bluish impression when observed in vast fields.

Kentucky is bordered to the north by Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, to the east by West Virginia and Virginia, to the south by Tennessee, and to the west by Missouri. The Ohio River forms the Commonwealth’s northern border.

On June 1, 1792, Kentucky was admitted to the Union as the 15th state. Every year on October 19, there is a celebration known as National Kentucky Day to honor the day when Kentucky was admitted as a state.

The capital of Kentucky is Frankfort.

Kentucky ranks thirty-seventh in terms of total land area, with 39,732 sq mi (102,907 sq km), and is twenty-sixth largest with a total population of 4,505,836 as recorded in the 2020 census of the United States. 

The earliest European settlers in Kentucky came from the southeast in the late 17th century through a natural pass in the Appalachian Mountains. Before white immigrants arrived, the area was a hunting place for Indian groups like the Shawnee, Iroquois, and Cherokee. The most famous explorer from Kentucky and a frontiersman named Daniel Boone found the Cumberland Gap through the lower Appalachians in 1769 while on the first of multiple hunting journeys. 

During the Civil War, the state remained officially neutral, and its inhabitants were divided. Kentucky soldiers fought in both the Union and Confederate armies.

Kentucky is also a significant coal producer in the United States, ranking the third largest in the U.S. with 152.4 million tons in 1996. In 1998, coal was declared Kentucky’s official state mineral. 

Kentucky’s commercial forest land area is 12.7 million acres, accounting for 50% of the state’s total land area. White oak, walnut, white ash, yellow poplar, red oak, beech, sugar maple, and hickory are the most common tree species. Kentucky is the third largest producer of hardwood in the United States.

It was renowned historically for having ideal farming conditions. Kentucky’s economy has now grown to include non-agricultural sectors such as auto manufacturing, energy fuel generation, and medical institutions. It is also the location of the famous Kentucky Derby horse race. Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Derby every year. 

The fun fact is that, on September 24, 1952, the fast-food chain KFC was founded in Kentucky. During the Great Depression, businessman Colonel Harland Sanders opened a roadside eatery where he sold fried chicken. With over 20,000 locations worldwide, it is currently the second-largest fast-food business in the world. 

In 1968, the Eastern grey squirrel was chosen as Kentucky’s official state wild animal.

The state’s official bird is the Northern cardinal whereas the state flower is the Goldenrod. The state motto is “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”.

The official state language of Kentucky is English.

State Information

Official Language English
State Rank 37
Demonym(s) Kentuckian
Nickname Bluegrass State
Formation Date June 1, 1792
Coordinates Lat: 36° 30′ N to 39° 09′ N, Long: 81° 58′ W to 89° 34′ W

State seal

Motto of Kentucky

"United we stand, divided we fall"

State symbols of Kentucky 👇

State location

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State Flag of Kentucky