About Delaware

Facts About the State of Delaware

Delaware may be the second smallest state in the USA, but it certainly packs a punch when it comes to its rich history and fascinating facts. Known as the “First State,” Delaware played a vital role in the founding of the United States, with its residents signing the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. From its colonial beginnings to its modern-day charm, Delaware has plenty of stories to tell.

Learn more about Delaware Historical Society

About Delaware Historical Society

Delaware Historical Society is a non-profit organized dedicated to preserving Delaware history. Explore our website to learn more. Sign up for emails, follow us on Social Media, and support us however you can.

Our Delaware
Remixed by Vince Comegys-Davis, Street Xpressions Dance & Art Academy


“Our Delaware” is the official state song of Delaware. Originally a poem with three verses representing each of the 3 counties, written by George Beswick Hynson in 1904, “Our Delaware” became the state song in 1925, the musical score composed by Will M. S. Brown.

Little State, Big History

Why did the chicken cross I-95? To find their 1,999,999 friends on the other side of course! Delaware has 2 million chickens spread out across all three counties of the second smallest state. As a result of Delaware ranking third most bike-friendly, you might bike past a field and say look at all those chickens!

The Diamond State is a jewel of a place to live with 974,000 people calling it home. When you visit the First State, be sure to call home and say “Hi, I’m in Delaware.”

Scroll to learn more Delaware state facts and explore the rest of the website to find out how you can be a part of Delaware history!

Delaware Nicknames

First State
The first to ratify the Constitution.

Diamond State
Legend has it that Thomas Jefferson called Delaware a “jewel” among the states because of its strategic location along the East Coast.

Blue Hen State
One form of entertainment during the Revolutionary War for Delaware soldiers was cock fighting. It was so popular that Delaware Soldiers brought their own Blue Hens with them during their stay in the army. The Blue Hen was noted for its fighting ability, and because of their bravery, the men of Captain Jonathan Caldwell’s company were soon compared to this breed.

Peach State
The first state to produce peaches commercially.

Small Wonder

Home of Tax-Free Shopping

Corporate Capital

Chemical Capital

How big is Delaware?


square miles


miles long


miles wide

Delaware State Facts FAQ

Delaware declared its independence from Great Britain on June 15, 1776 and thereby also became independent of Pennsylvania with which it had been connected since 1682. Delaware was the first to ratify the U.S. Constitution and thus became known as the “First State.”
Delaware adopted the current state flag on July 24, 1913. The state seal is enclosed in a buff diamond on a colonial blue background. Below the diamond is printed “December 7, 1787,” the date that Delaware ratified the U.S. Constitution and became the first state.
Dover, named by William Penn for Dover in Kent, England, is the capital of Delaware.
Delaware has 3 counties: New Castle (northern Delaware), Kent (center of Delaware, 11 miles south of Dover), and Sussex (downstate, the largest county, measuring 950 square miles).

How did Delaware get its name?

In 1610 explorer Samuel Argall named the Delaware River and Bay for the governor of Virginia, Thomas West, Lord De La Warr. The state of Delaware takes its name from the river and bay.
Delaware’s government consists of the General Assembly, made up of a Senate and House of Representatives, the Governor, and the judiciary.

Delaware State Facts Flashcards

State Bird

Blue Hen

Named in February 1939 after the “Fighting Blue Hens” the mascot of Delaware Revolutionary War soldiers.

State Butterfly

Tiger Swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus)

Adopted June 10, 1999.

State Flower

Peach Blossom

Adopted on May 9, 1895. Beginning in the early 1800s, Delaware became a leading producer of peaches until a blight called “the yellows” destroyed the orchards in the late 1800s.

State Fruit


Adopted as the state fruit in 2010.

State Herb

Sweet Golden Rod

Adopted June 24, 1996 and indigenous to Delaware. Found throughout the state along coastal areas and by marshes.

State Insect


Adopted April 25, 1974, after state schoolchildren petitioned the General Assembly.

State Tree

Holly American

Adopted on May 1,1939. During the late nineteenth century until the 1930s, Sussex County became the leading supplier of holly, used for Christmas decorations and wreaths.

State Fish


Also known as the sea trout or the yellow fin trout, the weak fish was adopted as state fish in 1981, in recognition of sport fishing’s recreational and economic standing in the state of Delaware.

State Beverage


Adopted on June 3, 1983.

State Colors

Colonial blue and buff

Representing the uniform of General George Washington.

State Shell

Shell of the channeled whelk

Adopted in May 2014.

State Marine Animal

Horseshoe Crab

Adopted on June 25, 2002.

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By clicking the image above, a new tab will open to the website for the Lenape Tribe of Delaware.

Land Acknowledgement

We begin by acknowledging with respect, that we gather today in Lenapehoking, traditional homeland of the Lenape people for tens of thousands of years. Sometimes translated “Original People,” the Lenape were known as mediators and called “The Grandfathers”. Encompassing the Delaware River Basin, Lenapehokink includes present-day New Jersey, most of Delaware, the Eastern parts of New York and Pennsylvania, and was home to 20,000 Lenape.


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