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The sego lily (Calochortus nuttallii) was made the official state flower in 1911 after a census was taken of the state's school children as to their preference for a state flower. The sego lily grows six to eight inches high on open grass and sage rangelands in the Great Basin during the summer months. The plant is important to Utah because the bulbs were eaten by the early Mormon settlers during their first winter in the valley when food was scarce.
Abundant nesting colonies of the California gull (Larus californious Lawrence) have been reported as early as the 1850's in Utah. These gulls are assumed to be the species that saved the crops of the early Mormon settlers from crickets in 1848-1849. These birds now nest in large colonies in the islands and dikes of the Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake.
1821 - Mexico wins independence from Spain and claims Utah
1822-1829 - William H Ashley exploration and the discovery of a central route to the Pacific sends trappers to northern Utah who answered an advertisement in the St. Louis Gazette and Public Advertiser in the winter of 1822: "Enterprising Young Men...to ascend the Missouri to its source, there to be employed for one, two, or three years." Amongst those to respond were Jim Beckwourth, Tom Fitzpatrick, David Jackson, Hugh Glass, Jim Bridger and Jedediah Smith
1824 - Jim Bridger ( Old Gabe 1804-1881) discovers the Great Salt Lake
1826 - Jedediah Smith (1799-1831) leads expeditions to California and Nevada
1832 - Antoine Robidoux ( 1794 - 1860 )builds a trading post in the Utah Basin
1841 - Capt. John Bartleson leads first wagon train of settlers, including Nancy Kelsey - the first white woman ever to see Utah, across Utah to California
The Beehive and word "industry" became the official motto and emblem for Utah on March 4, 1959. Industry is associated with the symbol of the beehive. The early pioneers had few material resources at their disposal and therefore had to rely on their own "industry" to survive. The beehive was chosen as the emblem for the provisional State of Deseret in 1848 and was maintained along with the word "industry" on the seal and flag when Utah became a state in 1896.
Utah's official flag was adopted in 1913. The flag has a deep blue field with the state seal in the center, surrounded by yellow fringe. The state seal was designed by Harry Emmett Edwards in 1896. In the center of the flag is a bald eagle above a beehive (symbolizing hard work), surrounded by sego lilies (representing peace) and two US flags. The word "INDUSTRY" and the dates 1847 and 1896 appear on the flag. 1847 is the year that Brigham Young led a group of his Mormon followers to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah in order to find religious freedom and establish a new base for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This logo was used for the 1996 Utah Centennial along with the slogan "This Is Still The Right Place." The logo originated from a statewide contest in 1989 from a design submitted by Danny Christopherson, a sophomore at Provo High School. The slogan is an expansion of Brigham Young's famous statement "This Is The Place" when the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. The Utah Centennial Commission reserves the copyright authorization on the logo and slogan.