The United States is a sovereign nation composed of fifty states, one federal district, and five self-governing territories. In addition to state, district, and territorial insignia, such as flags, seals, and coats of arms, these entities also have unique nicknames, either official or unofficial. Some nicknames are derived from the natural features found within their borders, taken from significant moments in US history, or linked to native tree or flower species.https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/usstates/nh.htm
Origin of State Nicknames
Natural Features and Minerals
The state of Arizona is nicknamed "The Grand Canyon State" after the Grand Canyon, the natural canyon that was carved the Colorado River and now serves as an internationally renowned tourist attraction. However, Arizona is also nicknamed the "Copper State" as the metal has been mined in Arizona since the 19th century and produced 60% of all copper in the US as recently as 2007.
Similarly, California’s nickname, "The Golden State," is related to the discovery of gold which caused the California Gold Rush in 1848, and ultimately transformed the state in numerous ways. New Hampshire is referred to as "The Granite State" because of its granite deposits, quarries, and role as a leading producer nationwide. Similarly, Nevada is nicknamed "The Silver State" due to the importance of silver to its economy and history.
South Dakota changed its nickname from "The Sunshine State" to "The Mount Rushmore State" in 1992, after the popular US monument Mount Rushmore that has the faces of four US presidents carved into the mountain. West Virginia is a mountainous state, with more than forty peaks that reach an elevation of at least 4,000 ft, and is therefore nicknamed "The Mountain State."
Native Trees and Flowers
Georgia is nicknamed the "Peach State" because of the state's long history as a significant producer of the fruit. Georgia adopted the peach as its official state flower in 1995.
Mississippi is nicknamed "The Magnolia State" because the flower is so widespread within the state and the southern United States in general. The magnolia is the official state flower of both Mississippi and Louisiana. Kansas is nicknamed "The Sunflower State" since the wild sunflower is native to the region, and is admired because it can thrives in harsh environmental conditions.
Maine is nicknamed "The Pine Tree State," as the state contains the highest percentage of forest cover in the country, and Maine has some of the tallest pine trees on the continent.
Although Connecticut is referred to as "The Constitution State," the US Constitution was actually drafted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, the name comes from a document known as the Fundamental Orders, which defined how Connecticut Colony's government should operate and be structured. Drafted in 1639, the Fundamental Orders is considered by some historians to be the first written Constitution within the US.
Delaware was the first original colony to ratify the US constitution, and therefore is nicknamed "The First State."
Alabama's nickname, "The Yellowhammer State," refers to its soldiers in the Confederate Army, whose uniforms contained yellow trim on sleeves, coattails, and collars. As a result, Alabama's soldiers were nicknamed the "Yellowhammers."
Confusing State Nicknames
Although Alaska was not that last US state to join the Union (Hawaii joined last), its nickname, "The Last Frontier," refers to the fact that the state is remote, relatively undeveloped, and largely unexplored.
Rhode Island's nickname is "The Ocean State" because part of its boundary is on the Atlantic Ocean. However, Rhode Island's ocean coastline is fairly small compared to other US states that border the ocean.
Additionally, Minnesota is not the northernmost US state, and therefore its nickname, "The North Star State," may seem strange.