Wisconsin is the northernmost midwest state of the United States of America.  It is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River, the east by Lake Michigan, the north by Lake Superior and the state of Michigan and on the south by the state of Illinois.  Wisconsin's capitol is Madison.  The largest city is Milwaukee.  I live in Columbus, which is located 30 miles north of Madison.  Wisconsin has 15,000 lakes.  The largest inland lake is Lake Winnebago.  Wisconsin's 44 state parks cover a total of 60,570 acres.  There are two national forests in Wisconsin -- the Chequamegon and Nicolet -- and they cover more than 1.5 million acres.  Wisconsin's 10 state forests cover more than 471,329 acres.
Wisconsin was admitted to the Union on May 29, 1848, adding the 30th star to the United States flag.  1998 marks Wisconsin's 150th birthday. Many communities in the state are celebrating Wisconsin's Sesquicentennial.
Wisconsin State Flag 
At the top of a shield on a dark blue field is the state motto "Forward". Below is a badger the state animal. A sailor and miner show that the people work on water and land. The shield shows Wisconsin's support for the United States. In four sections surrounding the shield are representations of the states main industries: Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and navigation. The flag law was amended in 1979 to include the name of the state and the date of statehood. 

Wisconsin ranks as one of the nation's leading agricultural states with more than 5.5 billion dollars in farm product sales per year. Known the world over as "America's Dairyland", Wisconsin's 1.6 million dairy cows produce a year's supply of milk for nearly 42 million persons...butter for 68 million persons...and cheese for 86 million persons. Wisconsin is first in the nation in butter, total cheese and milk production.
"The Badger State"
It wasn't the law that made Wisconsin the "badger state." It wasn't the number of the animals, either.  In fact, the animals themselves had nothing to do with it. In the 1830s, lead mining was a boom industry in Wisconsin. Lacking sufficient housing, the miners would frequently use mine shafts as shelter; a habit which earned them the nickname "badgers" by more long-term Wisconsinites. Although the nickname was meant as something less than a compliment at first, use of the term gradually came to be a more general, and more accepted, description of Wisconsin settlers at large. The badger has been honored in Wisconsin ever since, immortalized in the state song, institutionalized as the University of Wisconsin's mascot. 

Then, in 1957, four Jefferson County elementary school students discovered that the badger, state animal by custom, lacked official status as such. The bill that came of the students' request met with instant opposition, though, when a group from Wisconsin's northern counties introduced a rival bill. The white-tailed deer was the superior four-legger in the state, they said, due to its physical appearance, economic benefit, and sheer numbers. 
Nevertheless, custom won out, and the badger was written into Wisconsin State Statute 1.10 as the official state animal. The white tailed deer was named the state wildlife animal in a compromise, and in 1971 the dairy cow was added as the state domestic animal. 

 So never mind if you've never seen a four-footed badger in Wisconsin. The two-legged kind are everywhere. 

State Symbols
Sugar Maple 
Wood Violet 
Wildlife Animal: 
White-tailed Deer 
Domestic Animal: 
Dairy Cow 
Honey Bee
Red Granite 

Wisconsin Links
Wisconsin Summer Travel Guide
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resourses
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