On the northernmost region of New England lies the state of Maine. It has miles and miles of densely forested interiors, scenic waterways, and rugged coastline dotted by quaint fishing villages and lighthouses. Yet Maine isn’t all about picturesque landscapes and rugged wilderness. In fact, the state’s major industries are linked to its forests (timber, paper, pulp) and water reserves (fishes, lobsters, shellfishes, clams, hydropower). During the colonial times, Maine was a famous shipbuilding site. Both Western hemisphere’s first ship and the world’s first atomic submarine were built here. Maine became the 23rd state to enter the Union on the 15th of March, 1820.

State Nickname

Maine’s most popular nickname is “The Pine Tree State”, in reference to the extensive pine forests covering the state. White pine has an important role in the state’s history and economy, too, and so the tributary nickname. Other popular nicknames of the state are Lumber State, Border State, Old Dirigo State, Switzerland of America, and Polar State.

Climate Summary 

Maine is divided into three climatic regions: the northern interior zone, the southern zone, and the coastal zone. The northern zone tends to be drier and colder than both southern and coastal areas. Being near the sea, coastal areas experience more moderate temperatures. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes are rare in Maine. 

State Tax Situation

Maine has the highest tax burden in the country. It collects personal income tax from its citizens using four scalable brackets. Tax rates range from 2 to 8.5%. Sales tax is 5%. Food and prescription medicine, however, are considered non-taxable. Maine also collects excise taxes on fuel, alcohol, insurance premiums, and tobacco products.

Government Summary 

The government of Maine uses the same 3-arm structure as the federal government, and this is laid out in the Maine Constitution. The executive branch is headed by a governor. The legislative branch has two chambers: Senate and House of Representatives. The Maine court system, which represents the judicial branch, has District, Superior, and Supreme Courts.

State Seal

Created in 1820, the official seal of Maine portrays the state’s natural riches, agricultural roots, and ties to the sea. The center is a large shield adorned with a moose, pine, water, and woods. A farmer and a sailor stand on either side. Above the coat of arms is a shining Polaris and the state motto. Below, a banner reads MAINE.

Motto and Description 

The state motto of Maine is Dirigo, a Latin phrase which means “I direct” or “I lead”. The motto pertains to the responsibility of the State as its “citizens’ guide”. It also reminds people of their responsibilities to the State. The motto appears on both the state seal and state flag. 

State Flag

Measuring 4.4 x 5.6 feet, the state flag features the same shade of blue displayed by US’s star spangled banner. In the center is Maine’s coat of arms. Above is the northern star shining over the state motto and coat-of-arms. Below the shield is the state name in capital letters.

State Bird

In 1927, Maine chose the black-capped chickadee as its state bird.  Chickadees are small, sociable birds that make a distinctive call (chick-a-dee-dee-dee, hence the bird’s name). They have glossy heads, short and rounded bill, light brown and gray markings, and white cheeks. Non-migratory that they are, chickadees are a common sight in Maine all year round.

State Flower

Maine has designated the white pine cone and tassel as its official state flower in 1895. The cones are brown and curved, while the tassels have blue-green color. The white pine cone and tassel is not a flower at all, but lawmakers chose it because of the deep association of the state with the white pine. 

State Animal

Moose is the state animal of Maine. A member of the deer family, moose have a characteristic drooping nose, dewlap under the chin, and enormous, flattened antlers. Large and heavy, they can grow up to 6 feet tall and weigh nearly two tons. Moose have brown, black, or golden body color. 

State Song and Description

The state song of Maine is composition of Roger Vinton Snow and is called “The Maine Song”. The song exhorts its citizens to take pride in and honor the beautiful state. The lyrics sings praises to Maine’s natural resources, from its abundant forests to its woods, hills, streams, and seas.  

State Color 

Like most states, Maine has no official state color. However, the state is often associated with the color blue. Blue is the background of the state’s official flag, the banner bearing the word Maine on the state seal and flag, and the bar below the Pine Tree on the military crest.