Tennessee State Symbols, 2nd edition

  • Author(s): Simbeck, Rob
  • Series:
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2002-07-03
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $15.95 | Buy Now

Tennesseans may be stirred by the sight of their state flag or the strains of “The Tennessee Waltz,” but there are many other symbols associated with the Volunteer State: animals, plants, and even rocks. This new edition of Rob Simbeck’s popular book describes thirty-one emblems of Tennessee’s heritage and explains how they came to be recognized as official state symbols.

Simbeck has compiled a treasury of facts and anecdotes about Tennessee’s symbols that will surprise even those who have lived their entire lives in the state. Here is the story behind the construction of the state capitol; an account of the “war of the iris and passionflower” as they vied for official recognition; and a fascinating look at the most fragile state symbol, the freshwater pearl, the product of the state’s mussels, many of which are endangered. Also included are the lyrics to Tennessee’s seven state songs, from “Rocky Top” to “Pride of Tennessee.”

New entries in this edition include the state reptile (eastern box turtle), state amphibian (Tennessee cave salamander), and the state tartan, which celebrates the Scottish origins of Tennessee’s early settlers—plus the state’s official festival, the Sithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival.

From the mockingbird to the zebra swallowtail butterfly, these symbols are a celebration of what it means to be a Tennessean. Simbeck’s stories will delight readers of all ages and give them a new appreciation for their state’s rich heritage.

The Author: Rob Simbeck is a writer whose works have appeared in publications from the Old Farmer’s Almanac to Rolling Stone. He is the author of Daughter of the Air: The Life or Cornelia Fort and 50 Seasons: A History of the Nashville Symphony and a contributor to the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.