Like all states, Colorado has an array of official state symbols and emblems that represents its rich culture and history. The state has adopted these symbols over the course of its history—from the original seal created by the First Territorial Assembly in 1861 to the new state logo. Governor Polis unveiled this latest symbol in March 2019, replacing the green triangular mountain with a more colorful “C” that incorporates an evergreen tree as well as mountain peaks. Each symbol in Colorado’s history helps display the unique characteristics and strong values you can find within the state’s borders. Here’s our guide to Colorado state symbols and emblems.
Colorado’s state flag shares the red, white, and blue of the national flag. It consists of three horizontal stripes—blue, white, then blue again—and a large red “C” surrounding a golden disc. Colorado’s flag boasts many of the colors that make up its natural beauty. The white stripe represents the snow on top of the Rocky Mountains. The blue stripes represent the clear blue skies that stretch over the state. The golden disc symbolizes Colorado’s many days of sunshine, while the red around it indicates Colorado’s red soil.
The state seal comes from the original Territorial Seal. It contains several images symbolizing the various values Colorado holds. The triangular eye of God sits above a Roman fasces—a battle-ax wrapped in wooden rods and bound with red, white, and blue bands displaying the words “Union and Constitution.” The fasces symbolizes authority, leadership, and strength through unity. Below these symbols is a shield with snowcapped mountains at the top and miners’ tools across the bottom. Beneath the shield is the state’s motto, “Nil Sine Numine,” which translates to “nothing without the Deity.” Surrounding these images is a red circle with the words “State of Colorado” across the top and “1876,” the year Colorado gained statehood, across the bottom.
Every state has an array of official plants and animals that are unique to the state or significant to its history or values. Colorado is no exception. Here are some highlights from the guide to Colorado state symbols and emblems:
Animal: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
Amphibian: western tiger salamander
Reptile: western painted turtle
Bird: lark bunting
Cactus: claret cup cactus
Flower: white and lavender columbine
Pet: adopted shelter dogs or cats
Tree: Colorado blue spruce
Ski Area Sign
Skiing is another important part of Colorado’s history and culture. Anyone who hits the slopes in Colorado will recognize the unique ski area sign that designates not only ski areas and but also other points of interest in the state. While this isn’t part of Colorado’s official state symbols, it still represents the sense of adventure and outdoor fun that makes our beloved state so unique.
Colorado’s state symbols represent its heritage and pride. You too can display your state pride with a Colorado patch showing off the state flag, ski area signs, or any other favorite Colorado iconography. Stop by the YoColorado store to customize your gear today.