State Bison Symbols

State Bison Symbols

Top honor: USS Buffalo

State Bison Symbols USS Buffalo



USS Buffalo (SSN-715), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Buffalo, New York (another USS Buffalo was named for the animal). The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia on 23 February 1976, and her keel was laid down on 25 January 1980. She was launched on 8 May 1982 sponsored by Mrs. Joanne Kemp, and commissioned on 5 November 1983, with Commander G. Michael Hewitt in command.

In 1999, Buffalo was modified to carry a Dry Deck Shelter (DDS). In 2002, the Buffalo entered drydock in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and became the first ship to undergo nuclear refueling in Hawaii. In late November 2005, the DDS was used to launch an underwater glider capable of gathering and storing information to be later transmitted by means of a built-in satellite phone.

On 10 June 2008, Buffalo visited Olongapo City in the Philippines, allowing Filipino children to tour her.

Per the Annual Report to Congress on Long-Range Planning for Construction of Naval Vessels for FY2013, Buffalo is scheduled for decommissioning in 2017.


Several states have honored bison in some way, from a flag, coin to state seal

It’s the only animal that I know of, that has been honored in some way throughout history.

Indiana State 

Versions of this pioneer scene are found on official Indiana papers as early as 1801. A state seal was provided for in the 1816 and 1851 Indiana constitutions, but it was not until 1963 that the Indiana General Assembly provided an official description for the state seal.

The design consists of a woodsman chopping a tree with his ax, a buffalo jumping over a log, sycamore trees, hills in the background, and a setting sun with fourteen rays.

The leaves of the Indiana state tree (tulip poplar) border diamond shapes in the outer circle. The words “Seal of the state of Indiana” appear at the top of the outer circle and the date Indiana entered the union (1816) appears below.

State Bison Symbols Indiana Coat of Arms

State Bison Symbols Indiana-State Seal adopted 1816.svg

State Bison Symbols Indiana Seal











Kansas State  Animal (1955) The state flag of Kansas (adopted in 1927) features the Kansas state seal on a field of dark blue. Above the seal is the state crest; a sunflower (official state flower of Kansas) resting on a twisted blue and gold bar that represents the Louisiana Purchase. The rising sun represents the East; the river and steamboat are symbols of commerce; the cabin, settler, and plow horses represent agriculture as the base for the future prosperity of the state of Kansas. In the distance, oxen draw a wagon train west, and a herd of buffalo is pursued by two Indians on horseback. In the sky are thirty-four stars with the state motto above: “Ad astra per aspera “(to the stars through difficulties).


The Topeka Daily Capital
Topeka, Kansas Feb 11, 1883

Kansas State Seal

The design is submitted to the committee by Mr. Ingalls consisted “of a blue shield at the base of a cloud out of which was emerging one silver star to join the constellation in the firmament comprising the thirty-four then in the Union, with the motto ‘ad astra per aspera’ The cloud symbolized the struggles through which we had passed, the star the State, the constellation the Union. The motto was both descriptive and suggestive and the entire design simple, unique and satisfactory.” It was so satisfactory to the committee that they adopted it entirely. But after that, some of the “wild heralds of the frontier” altered it by mixing a steamboat and plowing, with buffalo hunting, etc., till really nothing but the motto is Mr. Ingalls’, and the landscape is probably substantial the ones submitted by Mr. McDowell. The historic part of the seal is the motto, the date, and the bison hunt and the log cabin. But the motto is not only historic but suggestive of a fact that will be true forever, that the conquest of difficulties is the way to more I’ll as well as political success.

State Bison Symbols Kansas Flag

State Bison Symbols Kansas State QuarterState Bison Symbols Kansas State Seal



Montana The U.S. Mint’s bicentennial commemorative quarter for Montana features a bison skull, mountains, the Missouri River, and one of Montana’s state nicknames: “Big Sky Country.” Montana became the 41st state in 1889.  


State Bison Symbols Montana Territory Seal 1865State Bison Symbols Montana State QuarterMONTANA TER. (Territory) STATE SEAL
In 1865 territorial delegates appointed a committee to select an official seal to represent Montana to the world. Committee chairman Frank M. Thompson wrote that “the territorial seal shall . . . represent a plow, a miner’s pick, and shovel; upon the right, a representative of the great falls of the Missouri; upon the left, mountain scenery. Underneath, as a motto, the words Oro el Plata. The Seal shall be two inches in diameter and surrounded by these words: ‘The Seal of the Territory of Montana.’” (Fortunately, someone caught the Spanish language goof and changed the motto from “Gold the Silver” to “Gold and Silver,” or Oro y Plata.) That same year Governor Sidney Edgerton signed a bill approving the territorial seal.

Thompson sent a crude sketch to an engraver, who produced the seal with a bison on the banks of the Missouri River, as per the wishes of the territorial delegates. The seal was to be shared by the governor and the territorial secretary. However, in 1876 enterprising Secretary James Callaway decided to augment his salary by charging to affix the seal to documents. He took physical possession of the seal, forcing Governor Benjamin Franklin Potts to commission a new one, which ended up without a bison, to use on newly issued territorial bonds and other documents.

Over the next year, both men used their respective seals on territorial papers. In 1877 the legislature
decided that Callaway’s seal was the official version. Six years later, delegates decided to have that seal destroyed and commission a new one, which was entrusted to the territorial secretary.
In 1887 an engraver replacing the worn-out 1883 seal changed the mountains, removed the clouds, added trees, and put the sun in the sunset position. Two years later, when Montana entered statehood, the seal was again changed, to replace the word “Territory” with “State.” The new engraver, a Helena jeweler, took his own liberties with the state seal. He moved the trees, altered the Great Falls and the Missouri River, and redesigned the mountains. Montana’s official state seal remains much the same today.



North Dakota 

The great seal of North Dakota features a tree in an open field with three bundles of wheat surrounding its trunk. To the right of the tree stands a plow, anvil, and sledge: on the left a bow crossed by three arrows and an Indian on horseback pursuing a buffalo toward the setting sun (North Dakota’s state quarter also features buffalo, and the name of the state originates from the native American Sioux language).

Above the foliage of the tree arches a half-circle of forty-two stars surrounded by the state motto: “Liberty and Union Now and Forever, One and Inseparable.” The words “Great Seal” appear at the top and the words “State of North Dakota” appear at the bottom of the seal. North Dakota adopted its state Constitution on October 1, 1889.

North Dakota State Seal

North Dakota State Quarter



The U.S. Mint’s bicentennial commemorative quarter for North Dakota features a rising sun, American buffalo, and badlands. North Dakota became the 39th state in 1889.






Dakota Territory Seal


Entered According To Act Of Congress In The Year 1876 By A.J.Connell in The Office Of The Librarian Of Congress At Washington D.C. – A.J. CONNELL LITHO 143 CHAMBERS ST.

 Arms of the States and Territories of the American Union






Rumor has it, the background of the Oklahoma state flag is bison hide, however, the legal description says “buckskin”

Oklahoma (1972)   as the state mammal

State Bison Representation








Buffalo County NE


The following is a copy of an official certificate of appointment to office, issued by the county clerk of Buffalo County under date of February 24, 1871. This document is in the handwriting of Patrick Walsh and bears the seal of Buffalo County, Nebraska:
“State of Nebraska
“County of Buffalo

“I Patrick Walsh Deputy clerk of said county do hereby certify that at a meeting of the county commissioners of said county on the 18th day of this month the said commissioners have duly appointed Oliver Thompson for the office of county Sheriff of ‘Buffalo Co. and that he has been duly qualified by taking the oath of office and giving bond as the law requires.

“Given under my hand at Wood River Center this 24th day of February A. D., 1871.
(Signed) “MICHAEL COADY, CO. Clerk.
(Signed) “By PATRICK WASH, Deputy.”

“Seal of
Buffalo County.”

(Note – The original of this document is in possession of Shelton Township Library.)



Texas General Land Office  (1844 to 1986, the buffalo was removed)

Tx General Land Office Seal 1838-1842

Texas General Land Office 1836

Texas General Land Office Seal

Tx GLO Seal 1986









Wyoming Flag    The flag of the state of Wyoming consists of the silhouette of an American Bison. The red symbolizes the Native Americans and the blood of pioneers who gave their lives. The white is a symbol of purity and uprightness. Blue is the color of the skies and distant mountains.                                                         
Wyoming State Flag

Wyoming (1985) as the state mammal

State Bison Representation



Canada also has their coin.

Canada's 2016 Silver Bison Coin

 Canada 2015 Silver Bison & Panda Coin









The Seattle Post Intelligencer Seattle Wa. April 25, 1898

1898 US 4 cent Stamp

The 4-cent stamp represents an Indian hunting buffalo, and is taken from a steel engraving in Schoolcraft’s “Indian Tribes.” A magnificent specimen of the bison as shown in full gallop, with an Indian astride a pony close upon his heels, the savage having his bow and arrow in action.




Kansas City Journal June 21, 1898


A limited supply of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition Issue Received at the Post Office.

Postmaster Scott yesterday morning received a supply of the special issue of Omaha exposition stamps and will put them on sale this morning. They are very pretty in design and color and will be very handsome stamps for philatelists to preserve. The designs on the stamps are typical of Western life. They are the same size and shape as the world’s fair stamps. The 1-cent stamp represents Marquette preaching to a group of Indian’s; 2-cent stamp is “Farming in the West;”4-cent stamp, Indian hunting buffalo; 8-cent stamp, troops convoying an emigrant train, from a drawing by Frederick Remington; the 10-cent stamp shows a prairie “schooner,” one of the horses having fallen from exhaustion; the 50-cent stamp represents a prospector with his pack mules in the mountains searching for gold; the $1 stamp shows a herd of cattle in a storm,  and the $2 stamp bears a picture of the great bridge over the Mississippi River at Omaha. Only a limited supply is on hand and a big rush is expected for them this morning.


► Several sports teams have the bison as a mascot, which highlights the iconic significance of bison in the United States.


NY NHLNY Buffalo Bills NFL

OKC Thunder MascotNY Buffalo Bisons









Colorado Buffalos Football _ BasketballBucknell UniversityND State University









DC Howard UniversityNashville TNSearcy Arkansas, Harding









DC Gallaudet Bison

Huntington West VirginiaWest Texas University




Buffalo Bulls NYUniversity of NY at Buffalo

Point Park University


Dixie State University-Utah




Basingstoke Bison


The Basingstoke Bison are an English Ice Hockey club from Basingstoke. They currently compete in the English Premier Ice Hockey League and have previously been members of the Ice Hockey Superleague and its successor the Elite Ice Hockey League





Milligan College in Tennessee is nicknamed “Buffaloes”  The school began as an endeavor of the Rev. Wilson G. Barker, a Disciples of Christ minister, and the Buffalo Creek Christian Church, a congregation of the Disciples of Christ located on Buffalo Creek in Carter County, Tennessee. While it began as a private secondary school known as the Buffalo Male and Female Institute, the institution was elevated to the collegiate level in 1881 with the arrival of the Rev. Dr. Josephus Hopwood and his wife Sarah LaRue Hopwood. Hopwood, a Disciples of Christ minister and educator, came to the school with the understanding that it would become a liberal arts college to train leaders for Disciples of Christ churches and the communities of Appalachia.


Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts,  nicknamed the “bison” Nichols College athletics teams are known as the Bison. Currently, the Nichols College Department of Athletics offers ten men’s intercollegiate sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and track, and field. They also offer nine women’s intercollegiate sports: basketball, cross country, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, and track, and field. The school varsity teams compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III level. Nichols is a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference for most sports. The football team is a member of the New England Football Conference while the men’s ice hockey team competes in the ECAC Northeast and women’s hockey in the ECAC East. The school also sponsors a variety of club sports.


Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee,  (OBU) teams, nicknamed athletically as the Bison, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC). Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, and track, and field; while women’s sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.



► Not to mention all the high school sports teams..

► Canada, Manitoba

University of ManitobaManitoba Flag








Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was formed in 1920 by the merger of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police(RNWMP, founded in 1873) with the Dominion Police (founded 1868). The former was originally named the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP), and was given the Royal prefix by King Edward VII in 1904. Much of the present-day organization’s symbolism has been inherited from its days as the NWMP and RNWMP, including the distinctive Red Serge uniform, paramilitary heritage, and mythos as a frontier force. The RCMP/GRC wording is protected under the Trade-marks Act.






state bison symbol  Alberta Military Heliport



Buffalo National Park was closed in 1940 and the property leased by the Government of Alberta to the Department of National Defence for the creation of an ammunition storage facility as well as an army training camp. DND owned an adjacent 75 km2 (29 sq mi) property and used the facility for live-fire artillery, armored and infantry training.

Called Wainwright Military Camp, or just Camp Wainwright, after the nearby Canadian National Railways division point, the facility saw use from January 29, 1945, to May 24, 1946, as a prisoner of war internment camp for 523 captured German officers, soldiers, and civilians from its first day of operation to 1,100 POW’s at its peak. During the 16 months, the POW Camp was in full operation, only two prisoners made a successful escape, although they were recaptured just over a month later, but not until they had reached Gary, Indiana.[3]

Decommissioned as a POW internment camp in 1946



state bison symbol Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo



The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo sometimes (RMWB) is a specialized municipality located in northeastern Alberta. Formed as a result of the amalgamation of the City of Fort McMurray and Improvement District No. 143 on April 1, 1995, it is the second-largest municipality in Alberta by area. It is home to vast oil sand deposits, also known as the Athabasca Oil Sands, helping to make the region one of the fastest-growing industrial areas in Canada.

Until the Alberta electoral boundary re-distribution of 2004, the municipality was divided between the provincial electoral districts of Fort McMurray (the community itself) and Athabasca-Wabasca (the surrounding area). The re-distribution amalgamated the municipality into a single electoral district covering the entire municipality. As a result, the new Wood Buffalo electoral district became the most populous such district in Alberta.[citation needed]




state bison symbol IPM

The Independence Party of Minnesota (often abbreviated IPM, MNIP, or IP), formerly the Reform Party of Minnesota, is a political party in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It was the party of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura (1999–2003).

Originally an affiliate of the Reform Party of the United States of America, the IPM was later affiliated with the Independence Party of America but is no longer affiliated with any national party, focusing exclusively on Minnesota politics. The party has fielded candidates for most statewide races and was considered a major party by the state from 1994 to 2014. It lost that status when none of its statewide candidates won 5% of the vote in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

The party, which was represented in the U.S. Senate by Dean Barkley in 2002–2003, nominated former U.S. Representative Tim Penny as its candidate in the 2002 gubernatorial election, Peter Hutchinson in 2006 and Tom Horner in 2010.

Despite its name, the IPM does not support or otherwise call for secession from the United States.


Ralph Nader presidential run 2008

Oct 18 2008

For over 200 years we have only been able to root for the donkey and the elephant.

Nader/Gonzalez has a true American symbol as our campaign mascot: the buffalo.

The buffalo is powerful, persistent, and forward-looking.

We want people wearing Buffalo T-Shirts all over the country so we have decided to launch the Nader Buffalo T-Shirt Sale.

Donate $20 now to Nader/Gonzalez.




A good source for me was a book

“American Holocaust: A Complete Guide”


Cherokee Indian Territory Seal


Entered According To Act Of Congress In The Year 1876 By A.J.Connell in The Office Of The Librarian Of Congress At Washington D.C. – A.J. CONNELL LITHO 143 CHAMBERS ST.

 Arms of the States and Territories of the American Union

The bottom of page it says 1876, meaning the year it was made into the one page.






Flag and SeLittle Chippewa Tribe al: The seal and flag of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe were designed in 2006 by then Tribal Vice-Chairman James Parker Shield.

The shield came up with four different versions for a new tribal flag and seal, which he had printed in the tribe’s newsletter so tribal members could vote on which one they liked best. This design, with the buffalo, eagle staff, and Métis flag, was the top choice.

The buffalo was central to the survival and economy of the Pembina Chippewa (from whom the Little Shell are descended) and the Métis people. The buffalo image faces West to symbolize the migration of the Little Shell Chippewa and Métis from the Great Lakes region in Minnesota to what is now North Dakota and Montana.

Years ago, tribal spiritual leader Henry Anderson was presented with a single eagle feather by a Chippewa man from Wisconsin. The eagle feather is very old and now hangs from the “crook” in the eagle staff that is behind the buffalo. The eagle staff represents the full-blood, traditional heritage of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe. The eagle staff was made by Henry Anderson and presented to the tribe. It is carried by a tribal leader or veteran, leading the Grand Entry at the Little Shell Chippewa Pow-Wow each year.

The red and white background colors of the “Assiniboia” flag used by the Métis people represent the mixed-blood heritage of the tribe. The yellow “fleur de lis” represents the French heritage of the mixed-blood Chippewa while the green shamrock represents the Scots/Irish heritage. The yellow background on the Little Shell flag depicts the color of the sun.



bison symbols Chippewa Cree Tribe

Flag and Seal: The Chippewa and Cree have come from two nations of the American continent. Each tribe has come together to form the present-day Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.

The picture of this seal represents the circle of life on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation. Baldy Butte is the sacred mountain of the tribe.

The sun represents life rising from the east. Also, the sun’s rays represent the fifteen Sacred Grass Dance Chiefs who are active in preserving the culture of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. The sun also represents the Sacred Grass Dance Drum of the tribe.

The Sacred Four Bodies text under the sun represents good health and good fortune for the tribe so that they can prosper in education. Tribal customs and traditions are integrated into each of the schools on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation.

The eagle represents strength, wisdom, bravery, and honor, all elements conceived from the bird that represents the thunder and lightning of the sacred sky.

The buffalo, a source of food and shelter for the tribe for many years, is also a sacred animal representing the source of life and a Sundance element.

Bear paw tracks represent the Bear Paw Mountains where the Chippewa Cree now makes their present home. Also, the bear is a sacred animal of the tribe.

The tipi is where all values and customs are derived from as well as the life and traditions the Chippewa Cree have always held.

The sacred pipes were held by the last official chiefs of the Chippewa and Cree, Chief Rocky Boy and Chief Little Bear.

The braid of sweetgrass is an element of communication to the Creator and the Spirits.

The nine eagle feathers represent the nine elected chiefs of the Chippewa Cree Business Committee.



bison symbols Gros Ventre and Assiniboine MT



Flag and Seal: Created by George “Sonny” Shields, the emblem of the Fort Belknap Reservation’s seal is the traditional shield, symbolizing the shield’s protection of the two tribes, the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine. The shield illustrates the protection for the two tribes from the past, present, and future, and protection against the loss of tribal culture, tribal identity, and tribal land base. The circular shape of the shield symbolizes life itself, or the constant cycle of life, each living thing dependent on one another for life.

The four directions and the four seasons are symbolized in the use of the four colors: red for summer, yellow for fall, white for winter, and green for spring.

The buffalo skull symbolizes the existence of two tribes on the reservation, who function as a whole. The colors divide it, yet the skull remains as one. The skull has a jagged line from horn to horn representing the Milk River, a major tributary of the Missouri. Snake Butte is illustrated above the skull. This butte is a well-known landmark for tribes throughout the North.

The two arrowheads facing each other emphasize the strong traditional ties with the past.

Seven feathers hang from the shield. Each feather is for every two of the twelve council members who represent the reservation’s three districts and the center feather represents the tribal chairman.



 bison symbols Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes MT


Seal: The seal was created in the 1980s. The Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) received a request from oil companies drilling on the reservation to purchase water from the tribes. The oil companies requested a map of
waterways on the reservation. After the map was created by TERO, it was discovered that the waterways on the map resembled the outline of a buffalo in the middle of the reservation boundaries. The seal includes this representation of the buffalo and the Fort Peck Reservation boundaries were added to the drawing displayed on a hide.





bison symbols Crow

Flag and Emblem: The Crow Cultural Commission designed the Crow tribal emblem and flag and the graphic illustration was designed by Lawrence Big Hair.

The flag is trimmed in gold, symbolizing the horns and hooves of the Seven Sacred Rams. The flag background is blue. The belief it represents states that when the sky and the waters are clear everything between them is good and peaceful.

The emblem on the flag is encircled. This represents the Path of All Things. There is the sun and its rays. These represent the clans of the Crow.

Three mountains are depicted. They are the three mountains on the present-day Crow Reservation: the Wolf Teeth, the Pryor, and the Big Horn Mountains. They are considered sacred by the Crow. The two rivers depicted are the Big Big Horn and the Little Big Horn Rivers.

The tipi is white because it represents purity and goodness. The tipi has the foundational structure of the four base poles. They represent the never-ending cycle of the Seasons. The tipi has the two ventilator flap poles. They are the sentries that watch over the home: the Coyote by day and the Owl at night. The tipi is anchored by stakes, which were gifts from the badger who said the stakes have the strength of his claws when they are embedded in the ground. The tipi is flanked by the two war bonnets, representing the Crow clan system.

The Crow belief system has four major foundations, and each is represented on the emblem: the clan system, the sweat lodge, the sacred tobacco bundle, and the pipe. The tipi on the emblem represents the white tipi given to Yellow Leggins by White Owl. The sweat lodge is a gift from the Creator since the beginning of the Crow. The sacred tobacco bundle represents the foundation of the religion of the Crow. The pipe is the spiritual gift from the Seven Sacred Buffalo Bulls and Buffalo Woman. When the pipe is lit, the mind is to be filled with good, pure thoughts and peace.



bison symbols Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes


Flag: In 1978, with Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council support, a contest invited tribal people to design a flag for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). The winning design was created by Karen Hale, a 25-year veteran employee at CSKT. The selection committee felt Karen had woven into the flag the strongest representation of the CSKT people. The flag depicts the natural resources of the reservation, along with the buffalo and tipi. Behind the tipi is the outline of Flathead Lake and the mountain represents the Mission range. The tipi, bow, arrow, shield, and eagle feathers are chosen because of their historical importance to the tribes. (buffalo painted on tipi)





bison symbols Otoe-Missouria Tribe Seal


The Otoe-Missouria tribal seal features animals that represent the seven clans of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. Those clans are Bear, Buffalo, Beaver, Eagle, Elk, Owl, and Pigeon. Traditionally, each clan has its own responsibilities within the tribe and during ceremonies.  The feathers in the center are an eagle fan. Eagle feathers are revered in the Otoe-Missouria Tribe.