Utah, The Beehive State

Written by on October 6, 2012 in UT History & Heritage - Comments Off on Utah, The Beehive State

When the Mormons first came to the territory that eventually became Utah, they named it The State of Deseret. This is a reference to the honeybee in The Book of Mormon. Legend says that many early Mormon settlers carried “swarms of bees” with them. In fact, they probably didn’t carry bees with them, but it is a reference to the industry, perseverance, thrift, stability and self-reliance of the region’s settlers, much akin to the industry found in a bee hive.

The beehive became the official state emblem in 1959, but was used much earlier than that when the Mormon’s recognized that emblem for the State of Deseret in 1848 and it became part of the flag when Utah became a state in 1896. It shouldn’t come as any surprise, then, that the official state insect is a honeybee!

As an odd side note: The Apache referred to the Navajo tribe as “Yuttahih” meaning “one that is higher up.” Europeans settlers misunderstood this term to refer to the tribes living higher in the mountains — the Utes — and the territory was called the land of the Utes, or Utah. That’s how the state got its name.

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