Get to Know Wisconsin’s Mottos and Mascots

Nov 5th

At West Madison Apartments, it’s no secret we’re Madison’s biggest fans. We’re always rooting for the home team, and take pride in our state. In today’s blog, we’re taking a deeper dive into Wisconsin’s mottos and mascots we love to cheer for.

Buckingham U. Badger. You may know him more commonly as Bucky, the UW-Madison mascot! But what you may not know is his birthday, which is October 2, 1940. Bucky is a member of the Mascot Hall of Fame, and he was inducted in 2006. One of Bucky’s most loved tricks is his push-ups after each touchdown, and he once did 535 push-ups in one game! Some even claim he’s the greatest mascot in sports! Don’t take our word for it; check out this video for why! To learn more about Bucky and the spirit of UW-Madison, head to their webpage.

Forward. Our state’s motto, “forward,” was adopted as the official motto in 1851 and signifies continuous motion forward to becoming a leader in our nation. It’s also the name of the statue at the top of State Street! But that’s not the only place you’ll find this phrase. Forward Madison is the official name of our city’s soccer team. It’s part of the umbrella name for many Department of Health Services (ForwardHealth), and it’s in the name of the educational exam for students in grades 3-10 - Wisconsin Forward Exam, to name a few!

Wisconsin. We’re not talking about our great state; we’re talking about the gold statue on top of our state’s Capitol building! It’s named “Wisconsin,” to symbolize our state motto. The statue is 15 feet, 5 inches tall, and weighs over 3 tons. A badger sits on top of the statue's head,  holding a globe with an eagle sitting on top of it. What’s even more impressive is  a law in place that prohibits any other building in Madison to be taller than the Capitol, which claims its height from the statue. 

Plastic pink flamingos. Madison has never been a city to blend in. That’s especially true when it comes to our official city bird: the plastic pink flamingo. In 1970, a UW-Madison prank group purchased 1,008 plastic pink flamingos and set them up on campus on the first day of classes. In 2009, the city council voted to make it official, 30 years after the origin story. Hence, our city bird! It’s become such a beloved event that each year, they hold an event on campus where the community is invited to “flock” Bascom Hill with plastic pink flamingos, all in the spirit of philanthropy for the university. Learn more about this event on our blog, where we cover fall activities in and around Madison!

The Chairs on the Memorial Union Terrace. If you know Madison, you know the Terrace chairs! Located at Memorial Union, the Terrace was constructed in 1928 and quickly became the go-to spot for UW students, parents, and alumni. The chairs are distinct in design (Sunburst) and specific in color (John Deere green and Allis Chalmers orange and yellow). Since its creation, the chairs on the Terrace have expanded to include more seating for the community, dining experiences, and enhancements to the Lake Mendota shoreline.

There’s no better way to show your love for Madison than calling one of our communities “home.” Click here to learn more about each of our Madison-based properties!