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    Massachusetts: What do you know?

    Who knew Massachusetts had an official cat?

    You can learn what it is at a new exhibit at the State House this week, which features materials and artifacts that illustrate the official state symbols. From animals and plants to food and drink, literature, music, sports, and even people, the list of official state symbols is an offbeat collection, with each item approved over the years by the state Legislature and codified in state law.

    How does something become an official state symbol? Through the right of free petition, anyone living in Massachusetts can ask to have a law passed. Many suggestions come from enthusiastic classes of schoolchildren, who work with lawmakers to craft and sign a petition to the Legislature. Such bills must go through public hearings in the House and Senate, which must sign off before sending the proposal to the governor’s desk.


    OK Bay Staters: Grab a pencil and test your knowledge of the state symbols. (Answers are at the bottom of this column, but don’t cheat!)

    Official state bird?

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    A. Pigeon

    B. Seagull

    C. Black-capped chickadee

    D. Duck


    E. American robin

    State beverage?

    A. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee

    B. Sam Adams brew

    C. Frappe

    D. Cranberry juice


    E. Quabbin water

    State motto?

    A. Do your job

    B. No days off

    C. Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem

    D. E pluribus unum

    E. This is our **** city

    State song?

    A. “More Than a Feeling,” Boston

    B. “I’m Shipping up to Boston,” Dropkick Murphys

    C. “Dirty Water,” Standells

    D. “All Hail to Massachusetts,” Authur J. Marsh

    E. “Sweet Caroline,” Neil Diamond

    State dessert?

    A. Friendly’s ice cream

    B. Necco wafers

    C. Squirrel Nut Zippers

    D. Boston cream pie

    E. Dunkin’ Donuts munchkins

    Official state folk hero?

    A. Paul Revere

    B. Johnny Appleseed

    C. Susan B. Anthony

    D. Tom Brady

    E. David Ortiz

    State colors

    A. Black and gold

    B. Gold, white and blue

    C. Blue, green, and cranberry

    D. Red, white, and blue

    E. Harvard crimson

    State cat

    A. Bobcat

    B. Coon cat

    C. Mount Tom cougar

    D. Tabby

    E. Tiger at Franklin Park Zoo


    C, D, C, D, D, B, C, D

    Matt Rocheleau can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @mrochele