State Symbols of West Virginia

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 by Editorial Staff

West Virginia is a constituent state of the United States of America. It is located in the Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeastern regions of the United States. 

Originally, West Virginia belonged to Virginia. It was proposed that it be given the Indian name “Kanawha,” which also happens to be the name of one of its main rivers, but this was not chosen. The western counties of the state of Virginia that refused to secede from the Union in 1863 were eventually given the name West Virginia. West Virginia is known as The Mountain State because it is the only state entirely within the Appalachian Mountain range. There are hills and ancient mountains everywhere in the state. 

It shares borders with Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the north and east, Maryland to the east and northeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Virginia to the southeast.

Charleston is both the state capital as well as the largest city.

After the British came in the 1600s, the territory, that now includes West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, and sections of North Carolina, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York was all known as Virginia. During the Revolutionary War, which lasted from 1775 to 1783, West Virginia was a part of Virginia. However, at the start of the Civil War (1861-1865), West Virginia refused to secede from the Union along with the rest of the states. It was the only state to break away from Virginia and create a new state during this time. In 1861, West Virginia declared its independence from Virginia. West Virginia was admitted to the Union as the 35th state on June 20, 1863. On February 3, 1865, the state legislature passed the 13th Amendment, which also ended slavery nationwide. This resulted in the state’s legal abolition of slavery.

With a total area of 24,230 sq mi (62,756 sq km), West Virginia is the tenth smallest state by area. The state’s total population, according to the United States Census 2020, is 1,793,716 making it the twelfth least populous state.

An interesting fact about the state is the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville. The New River Gorge Bridge is the 3,030 feet long steel-arch bridge in the western hemisphere and is considered the longest one. It was constructed in 1977 and reduced a forty-minute mountain journey to a quick crossing.

West Virginia is renowned for its timber and protected woodlands and is the third most wooded state in the United States. It is renowned for its salt as well. Natural gas, coal, and oil are also significant to the state’s economy.

The northern cardinal was named the official state bird of West Virginia in 1949. West Virginia adopted the Rhododendron as its official state flower in 1903. 

“Montani Semper Liberi” (Latin for “Mountaineers are Always Free”) was chosen as the official state motto in 1872.

The official language of the state of West Virginia is English.

State Information

Official Language English
State Rank 41
Demonym(s) West Virginian, Mountaineer
Nickname Mountain State
Formation Date June 20, 1863
Coordinates Lat: 37°12′ N to 40°39′ N, Long: 77°43′ W to 82°39′ W

State seal

Motto of West Virginia

Montani semper liberi-"Mountaineers Are Always Free"

State symbols of West Virginia 👇

State location

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State Flag of West Virginia