A lot of talented writers ~ Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen are two of the best ~ work for newspapers in Florida, which is why so much is known about the state’s quirks.
I’m a newcomer here and curious about its storied past so I’m reading, reading, reading. (Loved this book.) What I’m finding is that Florida is darn colorful and sometimes just plain odd.
Take this story behind the state seal.
On August 6, 1868, the Florida legislature adopted an official state seal, passing a resolution specifying “that a seal the size of the American silver dollar, having in the center thereof a view of the sun’s rays over a high land in the distance, a cocoa tree, a steamboat on water, and an Indian female scattering flowers in the foreground, encircled by the words, ‘Great Seal of the State of Florida: In God We Trust’, be and the same is hereby adopted as the Great Seal of the State of Florida.”
So. Look closely. Notice anything awry?
It’s Florida, folks. Why are there mountains in the background? Less obvious to the casual observer is the Indian woman wearing clothing worn by Great Plains tribes, not Florida Seminoles, and a headdress that only male Indians wore. When Floridians noticed the errors, the seal was revised.
In 1970, the Legislature added the Sabal palmetto palm, the state tree.
In 1985, Secretary of State George Firestone presented a revised Great Seal of the State of Florida to the Governor and the Cabinet.
Paddlewheel steamboat? Guess I’ve got more reading to do.