Yes, There is a Cod

Most states have a state fish either by tradition or governmental proclamation. Alaska claims the king salmon, Iowa claims the channel catfish, and Wisconsin claims the muskellunge, as their official fish. Twenty states claim some form of trout. Sixteen of them claim some form of bass, and four of them claim the walleye. But only one state claims the codfish. The cod is the official fish of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Sacred Cod, Boston, Massachusetts, statehouse

This codfish is not just any old cod. The one pictured is known as the sacred cod. There is a likeness of the sacred cod hanging in the Massachusetts House of Representatives directly across from where the speaker of the house presides. The cod was considered so important that Cape Cod was named after the abundant fish in 1602, 18 years before the landing of the pilgrims at Plymouth.

Sacred Cod, Boston, Massachusetts, statehouseThere have been three sacred codfish. One of them was burned when the old state house burned down 1747. One of them mysteriously disappeared when the British occupied Boston during the revolution. The latest one was once kidnapped and ransomed by Harvard students in 1933. This is humorously referred to it as the great cod-knapping in the state house.

Just how sacred is this cod? Well in 1898 when the new house chamber was dedicated, the cod was lowered from the old chamber. It was then wrapped in an American flag and ceremoniously paraded down the state house halls to the new chamber. How crazy is that? I usually wrap my codfish in newspaper.

The state senate, not to be outdone, includes it's own fish as part of the chamber's central chandelier. It's referred to as the holy mackerel of course.

Yes there is a cod... in Massachusetts.

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