West Virginia Geography, History, Culture and Flag


West Virginia is located in the Appalachian Mountains, the oldest mountain range in North America. It is a land of diverse landscapes, from lush green valleys to rugged highlands. The state is divided into two distinct regions: the Allegheny Plateau and the Appalachian Plateau. The Allegheny Plateau covers about two-thirds of West Virginia, with elevations ranging from 900 to 3,500 feet above sea level. This region is made up of rolling hills and valleys, with many rivers and streams running through it. The Appalachian Plateau covers the remaining third of the state, with elevations ranging from 1,000 to 4,500 feet above sea level. This region is more rugged than the Allegheny Plateau and features steep mountains and deep ravines carved out by ancient glaciers. The highest point in West Virginia is Spruce Knob at 4,863 feet above sea level. The climate of West Virginia varies depending on elevation levels; temperatures generally range between 20-75 degrees Fahrenheit throughout much of the year. Check shoefrantics for climate in Huntington, West Virginia.


West Virginia was officially admitted to the Union in 1863, becoming the 35th state. The state was formed after a long and arduous process of separation from Virginia, which had begun in 1861. This process was largely due to the state’s pro-Union sympathies during the Civil War, which caused deep divisions between West Virginians and their eastern neighbors. During Reconstruction, West Virginia continued to develop its infrastructure and economy, although it faced significant challenges from flooding, poverty, and economic difficulties. In 1870, the first coal mine in the state opened near Fayetteville. This began an era of rapid industrialization that would last for decades and bring great wealth to many regions of West Virginia. The railroads also played an important role in this growth; by 1890 there were over two thousand miles of track running through West Virginia. During this period, many factories were built throughout the state as well as other forms of industry such as glassworks and steel mills. As coal production increased so did demand for labor; large numbers of immigrants arrived from Europe to work in these mines or factories. By 1910 West Virginia had become one of the most industrialized states in America with nearly half a million workers employed in manufacturing and mining industries across the state.


West Virginia is a state with a unique and rich culture. It has a diverse population of people from all walks of life, including Appalachian and African-American communities. West Virginians are known for their strong sense of identity, whether it be through their music, food, or dialect. Music has always been an integral part of the culture in West Virginia. The state is home to many bluegrass and folk music festivals that draw thousands of people every year. Country music is also popular in the state and can be heard on the radio or at local bars and restaurants. West Virginian cuisine is another important aspect of the culture, with dishes like pepperoni rolls, pinto beans, and ramp soup being popular favorites. There’s also a large emphasis on hunting and fishing in the area, which often results in meals like venison chili or trout stew being served up at family gatherings or cookouts. The dialect spoken by many West Virginians is known as “Appalachian English” and features words like “y’all” and “ain’t” that are unique to the area. Finally, West Virginians have a great appreciation for nature and often spend time outdoors enjoying activities such as hiking, camping, boating, or just taking in the beautiful scenery that this region has to offer.

State Flag

The West Virginia state flag is a white field emblazoned with a dark blue border and the state seal. The seal includes two men, an agricultural farmer and a miner, representing the state’s main industries of farming and mining. They stand on either side of a rock bearing the date June 20, 1863, which marks the day West Virginia separated from Virginia during the Civil War. Above them is a red ribbon that reads “State of West Virginia”. The date is flanked by two rhododendrons, which are the state flower. Below this are two rifles crossed over a red Phrygian cap and surrounded by an oak wreath. This symbolizes liberty and freedom from oppression. In the center is an image of the Great Seal of West Virginia, which features two crossed swords beneath a bald eagle holding arrows in its talons and an olive branch in its beak. The eagle stands atop a shield with 13 stars to represent West Virginia’s original 13 counties. At the bottom of the shield rests a banner that reads “Montani Semper Liberi”, meaning “Mountaineers Are Always Free”.

West Virginia Flag