From flags, to wildflowers, to guns, to dinosaurs—Americans sure love to proudly declare some official state nouns. One of the most popular representations often takes the form of a state bird, but as a recent deep dive from digital artist Jam2Go (aka James Dalzell Hodge) reveals, the cute, feathery winged creature you learned about in kindergarten isn’t nearly as original and emblematic as you were led to believe. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that most of our state bird choices over the years have been straight-up garbage.
After properly praising some states’ “birdsonified” choices, Hodge very quickly lays out the evidence supporting his theory that a serious legislative overhaul is needed to tackle our state bird crisis. For example, a total of five states count the mockingbird as their avian mascot, and that’s not even the most unoriginal of the bunch. In fact, 31 out of 50 states have overlapping picks, which is really just absurd, when you think about it.
Over the course of nearly 23 minutes (no, seriously), Hodge takes viewers on some interesting bird-related historical tangents (via some great digital artwork). In the video—which has racked up nearly 100K views—Hodge also reveals that, really, most of this societal failing falls squarely on the shoulders of our youth, since generally it’s been students asked to vote on their favorite birds for state certification. Thanks a lot, youth.
“If you’re a student looking for community service, a cause to get behind, or a way to start organizing and changing this political system, maybe something symbolic is a good place to start,” Hodge suggests near the end of his argument. We couldn’t agree more strongly. Kids, it’s time to do your patriotic duty: rectify our state bird crisis. Only then can we truly begin to heal as a nation.
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