Maine . . . State 23

Maine's official flag was adopted in 1909. The flag has a deep blue field with the state coat of arms in the center. The coat of arms pictures a farmer and a seaman which represents the agricultural and maritime industries of Maine. A shield is between them, upon which is a pine tree and a moose which is the state animal of Maine. There is green grass, a blue sky, and deep blue water. Above this is a yellow star which represents the North Star. Maine was the northernmost state when it entered the Union. There is red ribbon that reads, "DIRIGO," which means "I direct" in Latin. Also a large blue ribbon reads, "MAINE" became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820. The capital city is Augusta and largest city Portland. Maine is the largest of the New England states and is located in the top northeastern corner of the United States.

Maine is known to be one of the most beautiful and interesting states in the nation and its natural beauty makes it a very special place to live. The landscape of Maine was formed during the Ice Age when a massive glacier cut the coastline into hundreds of inlets, bays, and harbors. The receding ice sheet also formed the rocky islands found off the coast of Maine. Maine has more than 6,000 lakes and ponds, 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, 17 million acres of forest land, 3470 miles of coastline, and 2,000 islands.

Only a small part of Maine's soil is suitable for crops because more than four fifths of the state is covered with forests. It is nicknamed the "Pine Tree State". Because of the many forests paper, allied products, lumber and wood products and the two major industries. Maine has over 3,500 miles of coastline and is famous for its fine seafood due to all the cool, clear waters which provide the perfect environment. Maine's blueberry crop is the largest in the nation, raising 98% of the blueberries in the United States.

Maine was rated #1 in the nation for raising children because of its excellent educational system and low crime and it has been recently rated as one of the most livable states in the nation. Maine has natural beauty, endless recreational, great business opportunities, low commute time and minimal traffic, clean air and water, and friendly people. The cost of living in Maine is the lowest average of all the New England states.

Summers here are generally moderate with averages in the 70's, while winters are cold and snowy and average highs in the 20's. In the higher elevations winters are harsh and snow is very heavy. Fall is Maine's most beautiful season, with great fall colors. Annual statewide precipitation averages near 45 inches, with slightly higher amounts along the coastline, and the mountains.

Maine has 16 counties:
Androscoggin - Aroostook - Cumberland - Franklin - Hancock - Kennebec - Knox - Lincoln - Oxford - Penobscot - Piscataquis - Sagadahoc - Somerset - Waldo - Washington - York

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