Florida . . . State 27

Florida's official flag was adopted in 1900. Florida's flag has a red cross of St. Andrew on a white field; in the center is the state seal. The seal features a brilliant sun, a cabbage palmetto tree, a steamboat sailing and a Native American Seminole woman scattering flowers. Florida's flag represents the land of sunshine, flowers, palm trees, rivers and lakes.

Florida was admitted to the United States as a state on March 3, 1845 as the 27th state. The state capital is Tallahassee and the largest City is Jacksonville. Florida is the 4th most populous state behind Texas, California & New York.

Florida has a variety of landscape with many marshes, springs, swamps and countless small lakes and ponds. The Florida Keys, a chain of small islands, curves to the southwest, into the Gulf of Mexico. Exceptional sand beaches are found along the entire length of shoreline, and thick forests blanket the central and northeast. Rolling green hills extend from north of Gainesville to its far western border with Alabama. Citrus grooves (mostly orange and grapefruit) cover the central part of the state.

The great warm climate is why many visit and relocate to Florida. The central and south parts of Florida are hot and humid and occasional afternoon thunderstorms in the summer. Highs usually average in the 80-90s, with lows in the 70s. These coastal areas also experience nice breezes during the summer. Hurricanes are common in Florida mostly in the summer and early fall. In the central and north winter conditions are mild but can occasionally be damp and cold. Central and south Florida are warm in the winter with occasional rains and cooler conditions. The state's mild winters have made it a popular retirement destination. Weather from Miami south into the Keys is considered perfect year-round and Key West has the highest average temperature in the United States.

Florida is one of the most popular retirement and vacation destination in the nation. The main industry for Florida's economy is Tourism. Florida is known to many as the land of sunshine, magnificent beaches, orange groves, Universal Studios, the Florida Keys, the Everglades, Disney World, NASA and the Kennedy Space Center. Many visit and relocate to Florida because of the of the the 1200 miles of beautiful sand beaches, 1800 miles of coastline and Florida has more golf courses than any other state in the nation.

Florida leads the southeast in farm income and the economy consists of:
Agriculture: Citrus, vegetables, nursery stock, cattle, sugarcane, dairy products. Florida produces more than 75% of the nations oranges and 40% of the worlds orange juice. The major industries in Florida are tourism, electric equipment, food processing, printing and publishing, transportation equipment and machinery.

Florida has 67 counties:
Alachua Baker Bay Bradford Brevard Broward Calhoun Charlotte Citrus Clay Collier Columbia Dade De Soto Dixie Duval Escambia Flagler Franklin Gadsden Gilchrist Glades Gulf Hamilton Hardee Hendry Hernando Highlands Hillsborough Holmes Indian River Jackson Jefferson Lafayette Lake Lee Leon Levy Liberty Madison Manatee Marion Martin Monroe Nassau Okaloosa Okeechobee Orange Osceola Palm Beach Pasco Pinellas Polk Putnam St. Johns St. Lucie Santa Rosa Sarasota Seminole Sumter Suwannee Taylor Union Volusia Wakulla Walton Washington

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