Do you Know Why Iowa is Called the Hawkeye State?

From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream seas, the United States is a magnificent country. While most people are familiar with California and New York, there are several beautiful states in between. People think of these states as flyover countries, but each has its own unique beauty.

Aside from its appeal, each state has a nickname. California, for example, is known as the “Golden State.” New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment. Iowa is a wonderful state full of fields, farms, and a strong indigenous history. That’s why it’s known as the Hawkeye State.

However, you may be wondering why. Why is Iowa known as the Hawkeye State? Well, we will answer all of your inquiries! We’ll also look at Iowa’s other emblems, the state’s history and geography, and some interesting facts about the state. Let us take a look!

Why is Iowa Called the Hawkeye State?

Do you Know Why Iowa is Called the Hawkeye State?

Iowa, located in the Midwest, is often known as the Hawkeye State. Historians disagree on how the state obtained its nickname. Nobody truly knows the exact stories. However, we will provide you with a variety of theories.

According to the State of Iowa’s website, two men from Burlington, Iowa, came up with the term in 1838 after a court expressed concern about people coming up with a derogatory nickname for the state. This is where folks become foggy about what transpired.

One idea is that they chose to pay honor to Chief Black Hawk of the American Sauk Tribe. Others have speculated that it originates from James Fenimore Cooper’s novel The Last of the Mohicans, which had a character named Hawkeye who belonged to the Mohican tribe.

We may never know the truth about how Iowa gained its nickname, but the stories and speculations are interesting.

Read More: The Best Burgers in the Sunshine State Are Found at This Family-Owned Eatery

Iowa’s State Symbols

Do you Know Why Iowa is Called the Hawkeye State?

Iowa, like every other state in the country, has numerous state symbols, including the state flower, animal, flag, bird, and many others. The list below is a comprehensive list of Iowa’s state symbols.

  • State bird: Eastern goldfinch (Spinus tristis).
  • State Flower: Wild Rose (no specificity, but most likely: Rosa pratincola)
  • The motto of the state is: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”
  • State Rock: Geode.
  • State Soil: Tama Soil
  • S.M.H. Byers’ “The Song of Iowa” serves as the state song.
  • State Tree: Oak (no species established, most likely Quercus)

Learn More: Why Delaware? The Untold Story Behind its Nickname “The First State”

History of Iowa

Iowa, like every other state in the United States, was inhabited by indigenous tribes for thousands of years before European settlers arrived. Iowa’s Native American tribes included the Ioway, Missouria, Otoe, Illini, and Dakota Sioux. They contribute significantly to the state’s history and culture.

When the French arrived, they claimed the territory and settled themselves there. However, Spain and France struggled for many years to gain control of the country. The French prevailed, but in 1803, the United States purchased a large portion of the country, including Iowa. This became known as the Louisiana Purchase.

Iowa has emerged as a major player in American politics over the previous half-century. Every four years, presidential contenders campaign in Iowa, and the state has been the first to hold presidential primary caucuses since 1972.

You May Also Like:

Fun Activities in the Hawkeye State

Do you Know Why Iowa is Called the Hawkeye State?

Iowa has plenty of cornfields, so enjoy them. You can tour farms and experience a day in the life of a farmer. If you want to undertake more tourist activities, start in the state’s largest city, Des Moines.

To learn about Iowa’s history, culture, and art, visit the State Historical Museum of Iowa first, followed by the Des Moines Art Center. Make sure to stop by the Des Moines Farmers Market and the city botanical garden.

If you need more nature, you can visit one of several wildlife refuges or nature centers. Take walks along Iowa’s various lakes, such as Clear Lake and Okoboji Lake. These lakes also offer fishing opportunities.

Also, Read: 8 Insects Highly Infesting the Lone Star State, Texas


Iowa, known as the Hawkeye State, earned its nickname from unclear origins, possibly honoring Chief Black Hawk or inspired by a character in The Last of the Mohicans. The state boasts symbols like the Eastern Goldfinch and Wild Rose.

With a rich history, Iowa played a crucial role in the Louisiana Purchase and remains a key player in U.S. politics. Visitors can explore its farms, museums, and natural beauty, making it a diverse and captivating destination.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *