Every state in the union has a state bird. My stateâ€™s is the cardinal. Very red. Pretty. We have a state seal, a flag, and a flower. Youâ€™d think with these that legislators could let the matter of state symbols go at that.
But no. We also have a state insect, of all things. Our Virginia solons chose well on the latter, the tiger swallowtail butterfly. Beautiful. That nicely rounds out our symbols, no?
No. We also have a state fish and a state shell, as well. I kid you not. Think brook trout and oyster. Yum?
Yes, the state symbol act is pretty ridiculous. But until recently, Iâ€™d never thought about what all this is really for: the kids.
In Missouri, anyway, it has been the policy for children to suggest what should be the state bird, rock, composer, whatever. And then the legislature, in its slower working days, would consider the proposals.
Hey, itâ€™s a way for kids to get involved in . . . uh, government. Sort of. Not that thereâ€™s anything wrong with that.
But what can we make of the recent attempt in the Missouri legislature to make Budweiser the â€œstate beerâ€?
Donâ€™t worry, folks. Kids didnâ€™t suggest it. This is entirely the work of adults in the legislature. I wonâ€™t say theyâ€™re drunk on power, but I wonâ€™t say theyâ€™re exactly sober, either.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.