1 For Kids | Nevada 150th Year Sesquicentennial

For Kids

Nevada 150 for Kids

Kids of all ages can be a part of the Nevada 150 celebration. Stay tuned for more information about how you can help celebrate Nevada’s birthday! In the meantime, study up on your official state facts below!

State Seal

Nvseal99In mid-1864, Nevada’s Constitutional Convention adopted a description of the features to be placed on Nevada’s Great Seal. The Territorial Legislature had approved the description of the seal for the Territory of Nevada on November 29, 1861. The Territorial Seal included the motto “Volens et Potens,” which means “Willing and Able,” expressing the ideas of loyalty to the Union and the mineral wealth to sustain it.

On February 24, 1866, the Legislature changed the motto on the seal to “All for Our Country.” In 1969, Nevada Revised Statutes 235.010 was amended by Assembly Bill 157 to make the legal description conform to the actual features of the seal.

The design of The Great Seal of the State of Nevada is described as follows:
In the foreground, there are two large mountains, at the base of which, on the right, is located a quartz mill, and on the left, a tunnel, penetrating the silver leads of the mountain, with a miner running out a carload of ore, and a team loaded with ore for the mill. Immediately in the foreground, there are emblems indicative of the agricultural resources of the State including a plow, a sheaf, and a sickle. In the middle ground, there is a railroad train passing a mountain gorge and a telegraph line extending along the line of the railroad. In the extreme background, there is a range of snow-clad mountains, with the rising sun in the east. Thirty-six stars (to signify Nevada as the 36th state to join the Union) and the motto, “All for Our Country,” encircle the entire illustration. In an outer circle, the words “The Great Seal of the State of Nevada” are engraved, with “Nevada” at the base of the seal and separated from the other words by two groups of three stars each.

In 1999, the Nevada Legislature formally defined in the Nevada Revised Statutes the colors of the seal, including the yellow band highlighting the words “All for Our Country.”

Two large metal versions of the seal may be found on both the north and south exterior faces of the Legislative Building, a gift from the Government of Taiwan to the Nevada Legislature. Taiwan was designated as Nevada’s sister state in 1985.

State Flag

nevadaflagNevada has had four flags in its history. The Legislature did not adopt the design of the first flag until 1905, more than 40 years after Nevada entered the Union. Governor John Sparks and Colonel Henry Day of Carson City, a member of the Governor’s staff, designed this flag. It had a blue background with the words “Nevada” in the center, “silver” at the top, and “gold” at the bottom. Thirty-six silver and gold stars represented that Nevada was the 36th state admitted to the Union.

In 1915, the State Legislature repealed the 1905 Flag Act and created a new official flag, which was much different from the original. Clara Crisler of Carson City designed the new flag. It had a blue background with the State seal in the center. The design featured 18 gold stars arranged around the word “Nevada,” and 18 silver stars below the words “All for Our Country.” Again, the 36 stars indicated that Nevada was the 36th state admitted to the Union. When Miss Crisler added an extra star for a total of 37, the meaning of the stars was lost. This flag now hangs in the Nevada State Museum located in Carson City.

The Legislature adopted the design of Don Louis Shellback III for the third flag in 1929. The background color of the flag remained blue, but the flag’s design changed dramatically. Two sprays of sagebrush crossed to form a wreath in the upper left portion of the flag. A five-pointed star appeared at the center of the wreath with “Nevada” spelled out between the points of the star. A scroll with the motto “Battle Born” signified that Nevada entered the Union during the Civil War.

The 1991 Legislature approved a bill, sponsored by Senator William J. Raggio, to alter the way that “Nevada” is depicted on the State flag. Since October 1, 1991, the name “Nevada” has been positioned underneath instead of interspersed between the points of the star. Verne R. Horton created the current design of the flag.

Nevada State Locomotive Engine No. 40 (Photo Courtesy of the Nevada Northern Railway)

State Locomotive

Purchased new by the Nevada Northern Railway in 1910 from the Baldwin Locomotive Works, locomotive 40 has been a fixture of the railroad ever since. Locomotive 40 is a 4-6-0 locomotive. What this means is that there are four wheels in a pilot truck followed by six driving wheels. The zero indicates that there are no trailing wheels. This wheel arrangement was very popular around the turn of the last century for both freight and passenger locomotives.  Locomotive 40 is the Official Locomotive of the State of Nevada as recognized by NRS 235.135.  Locomotive 40 turns 104 years old in 2014 and is still operating.  To learn more about the history of Locomotive 40 and the tenacious efforts undertaken by staff and volunteers of the Nevada Northern Railway to restore it back to service please visit http://www.nevadanorthernrailway.net/40Rebuild/40Rebuild.htm.

State Song

“Home Means Nevada”

In 1933, the Legislature adopted “Home Means Nevada” as the official state song. Mrs. Bertha Raffetto of Reno wrote the song to honor the State. The refrain of the song is as follows:

“Home” means Nevada, “Home” means the hills,
“Home” means the sage and the pines.
Out by the Truckee’s silvery rills,
Out where the sun always shines,
There is a land that I love the best,
Fairer than all I can see.
Right in the heart of the golden west
“Home” means Nevada to me.

(Special thanks to Mrs. Alami’s and Paragini’s 3rd Grade classes at Greenbrae Elementary for recording the state song)


State Trees

Single-Leaf Piñon

The Single-Leaf Piñon (Pinus monophylla) is an aromatic pine tree with short, stiff needles and gnarled branches. The tree grows in coarse, rocky soils and rock crevices. Though its normal height is about 15 feet, the Single-Leaf Piñon can grow as high as 50 feet under ideal conditions.

BristleconeBristlecone Pine

The Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) is the oldest living thing on Earth, with some specimens in Nevada more than 4,000 years old. The tree can be found at high elevations. Normal height for older trees is about 15 to 30 feet, although some have attained a height of 60 feet. Diameter growth continues throughout the long life of the tree, resulting in massive trunks with a few contorted limbs.


State Flower

The Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata or trifida) grows abundantly in the deserts of the Western U.S.  A member of the wormwood family, sagebrush is a branching bush (1 to 12 feet high) and grows in regions where other kinds of vegetation cannot subsist. Known for its pleasant aroma, gray green twigs, and pale yellow flowers, sagebrush is an important winter food for sheep and cattle.


State Grass

Indian Ricegrass

Indian Ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides), once a staple food source for Nevada Indians, now provides valuable feed for wildlife and range livestock. This tough native grass, which is found throughout the State, is known for its ability to reseed and establish itself on sites damaged by fire or overgrazing.

Mountain Bluebird

State Bird

Mountain Bluebird

The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) lives in the Nevada high country and destroys many harmful insects. It is a member of the thrush family, and its song is a clear, short warble like the caroling of a robin. The male is azure blue with a white belly, while the female is brown with a bluish rump, tail, and wings.


State Reptile

Desert Tortoise

The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) lives in the extreme southern parts of Nevada. This reptile spends much of its life in underground burrows toescape the harsh summer heat and winter cold. It can live to be more than 70 years old.


State Animal

Desert Bighorn Sheep

The Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) is smaller than its Rocky Mountain cousin, but has a wider spread of horns. The bighorn is well-suited for Nevada’s mountainous desert country because it can survive for long periods without water. The large rams stand about 4½ feet tall and can weigh as much as 175 pounds.

State Fish

troutLahontan Cutthroat Trout

The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (Salmo clarki henshawi), a native trout found in 14 of the State’s 17 counties, is adapted to habitats ranging from high mountain creeks and alpine lakes to warm, intermittent lowland streams and alkaline lakes where no other trout can live.

State Fossil

The Ichthyosaur
This fossil (genus Shonisaurus) was found in Berlin, east of Gabbs. Nevada is the only state to possess a complete skeleton (approximately 55 feet long) of this extinct marine reptile. Ichthyosaurs (a name meaning “fish lizards”) were predatory reptiles that filled the same ecological niche as—and quite resembled in body form—the dolphins of today, only many of them were much larger.


State Artifact

Tule Duck Decoy

This decoy was created almost 2,000 years ago. Discovered by archeologists in 1924 during an excavation at Lovelock Cave, the decoys are formed of bundles of bulrush (tule) stems, bound together and shaped to resemble canvasback ducks.