Utah Was Called Deseret or Honeybee
We blogged on December 12, 2019 about how wild native bees in the state of Utah may be endangered by commercial honeybees. If you missed that blog post you can find it here.
On January 4, 2020, the US State of Utah turned 124-years old, having joined the union in 1896 as the 45th state in the USA.
In the mid-1800s before Utah became a US state, it was settled by Mormon pioneers that moved there to avoid religious persecution. It was called Deseret, which was part of a North American land mass that included most of present-day Nevada and parts of Arizona, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana.
This short 1:57-minute video gives a little more insight into the history of Utah and the beehive symbolism.
The area was populated largely by Mormons, also known as (LDS) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints religious community. The word Deseret was taken from the Book of Mormon and means “honeybee” in the Jaredite language. It was written that when the Brother of Jared and his companions traveled, they carried deseret with them, which is the honey bee (Ether 2:3).
Bees have always been near and dear to the Mormon church, for their symbolism of community, industry, thrift, perseverance, harmony, frugality, stability, self-reliance, hard work, productivity, working for the common good of all involved, just like the early settlers of the region. And just like all the bees in a beehive.
When it came to deciding on a name for the new state, Congress didn’t like the name Deseret, so they decided to name the state after the Ute Tribe that was there long before the Mormon settlers. However, the beehive symbolism was kept alive and even to this day, Utah is known as the Beehive State. The beehive is proudly positioned on the Utah flag, having been adopted as the official emblem in 1847.
If you know about any other state, province or country flags around the world that honor the honeybee or beehive, please share this with us all over on our Facebook page.
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