Missouri lawmaker wants to cap state's 28 official symbols

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., AP) — Missouri lawmakers, who over the years have voted to honor a state dinosaur (the hadrosaur), state exercise (jumping jacks) and state dessert (the ice cream cone), are considering clamping down on the state’s laundry list of official symbols.

A measure up for a vote in the House would cap state symbols at the current 28, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/195ccIl).
The legislation targets pending bills to anoint “Jim the Wonder Dog” as state Wonder Dog and “Old Drum” the state historical dog, along with one to name the white-tailed deer as the state game animal.
Lawmakers, typically urged by constituents or niche interest groups, often anoint what they see as Missouri mainstays, such as big bluestem grass, the paddlefish and mozarkite, the state’s lithological emblem.
Most common among states are official flowers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The pink or white Hawthorn tree flower — not to be confused with the state’s official tree, the flowering dogwood — earned that distinction in Missouri.
Every state has a collection of official symbols. Iowa has the least with eight, and Massachusetts the most with 44.
Rep. Tom Flanigan, a Carthage Republican, is sponsoring the bill to block adding more to Missouri’s list.
Symbol ban bill is HB 1350.
Wonder dog bill is HB 723.
House: http://www.house.mo.gov
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com