August 1 is Colorado Day – the day we celebrate our state’s birthday! On that date in 1876 President Ulysses S. Grant signed the proclamation that made Colorado the 38th state. Being admitted to the Union 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence earned Colorado its moniker, “The Centennial State.”
With a rich and dynamic history, the area that became Colorado was originally occupied by many Native American tribes including the Ancient Pueblo Peoples, Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Shoshone and Ute. Spanish conquistadors were the first Europeans to occupy the region. British Colonies once extended their theoretical boundaries to include Colorado and between 1763 and 1848 Colorado had been claimed, in varying proportions by Spain, France, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas.
The Territory of Colorado was established in 1861, organized in the wake of the 1859 Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. Its boundaries were identical to those of the State of Colorado today. Denver was designated the state’s capital in 1867 and the capitol building was constructed in 1896. Women won the right to vote in 1893, making Colorado the first state in the union to grant voting privileges to women through popular election.
Our state’s name, chosen by Congress when Colorado became a territory, has its roots in the Spanish language and means “colored red.” Often referred to as “Colorful Colorado,” this nickname reflects the state’s magnificent scenery which also served as inspiration for the song, “America the Beautiful.”
The dynamic state flag was adopted by the Colorado General Assembly on June 5, 1911. It consists of two outer stripes of blue which represent Colorado’s vibrant blue skies, with a white stripe between, signifying the snowcapped Colorado Rockies. The circular red “C” represents the ruddy earth of Colorado and its inner golden disk symbolizes Colorado’s hundreds of days of sunshine annually.
The state’s official motto “Nil Sine Numine,” was adopted as part of the Territorial Seal and is a Latin phrase meaning “Nothing without Providence” or “Nothing without the Deity.” Following are a few Colorado icons that have been officially adopted by the Colorado General Assembly or by executive order of the Governor:
- Animal: Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep
- Bird: Lark Bunting
- Fish: Greenback Cutthroat Trout
- Flower: White and Lavender Columbine
- Tree: Colorado Blue Spruce
- Gemstone: Aquamarine
- Songs: “Where the Columbines Grow” by A.J. Fynn & “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver (lyrics) and Mike Taylor (music)
One of the many reasons we love Colorado is that hemp farming is legal, requiring only an agricultural license. Though not “amber waves of grain,” we love it all the same. At Pure Hemp Botanicals, we realize how fortunate we are to live and work in this beautiful state, where the environment and sustainability are considered in decision-making on many levels – personally, in business and by local and state government.
Activities for Colorado Day include free admission to the History Colorado Center and Community Museums statewide on August 1. The 140th birthday celebration will feature food, music, dancing, children’s activities and more. Wherever you live, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating Colorado Day!