North Dakota the Flickertail State

I usually pride myself on being pretty well informed about most places, but must admit my ignorance in not knowing the North Dakota is called the Flickertail State. In fact, the Flickertail State is just one of North Dakota’s monikers, as it is also known as the Peace Garden State, the Roughrider State and the Sioux State. Most places are content with just one nickname, but perhaps the North Dakotans are unsure of where they live, or perhaps there is just so much going on there, they just can’t describe how to best describe themselves. Perhaps they just need another nickname, such as The Can’t Decide What We Are All About State?

My interest in North Dakota’s nickname was piqued because I didn’t know what a flickertail was, but it turns out that a flickertail is a type of squirrel, the Richardson’s Ground Squirrel to be precise. They have a tail which constantly trembles, hence, the humble squirrel’s nickname flickertail.

More deep research into North Dakota finds that they also have a state fossil, teredo petrified wood. This was probably chosen because it is found in Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora, which is part of the badlands area of North Dakota.

North Dakota has a stage grass, Western Wheatgrass, which is very common on the prairies and is a favoured food for buffalo, who roam around the plains. The state also has a national beverage, which is milk. Milk may be very nutritious, but it does lack panache as a beverage which conjures up wild fantasies about North Dakota’s drinking culture.

They also have a state dance, the Square Dance. However, North Dakota is not alone in claiming it as eighteen other states have also chosen the Square Dance as their state dance.

The Flickertail State’s state fruit is the chokecherry which, to be honest, doesn’t sound very appetising. Given that it is also called the bitter berry makes it sound even less appealing. The wild chokecherry is considered to be a pest in some areas, as it is toxic to horses, moose, goats, cattle and deer, but not to North Dakotans who turn it into Chokecherry Wine to be consumed on special occasions, such as when it is time for the guests to go home.

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