Icon Wisconsin

When something becomes commonly recognized as a graphic symbol of something else, it becomes an icon. Just as hot dogs and apple pie symbolize the United States, Wisconsin has many cultural icons well. Examine these icons of Wisconsin and discover what they symbolize. What do they say about the state's cultural identity? Whose stories are represented here and whose are not? Do you see yourself in these icons?

Take the Tour or View all the Icons

Wisconsin is known as America’s Dairyland. Our automobile license plates tell everyone that even though today we only produce 15% of the country’s milk, 25% of the butter, and 30% of the cheese. How did we become known as the dairy state, and why are we still known by that moniker today?

Food and Drink
There are several types of food and drink that are associated with Wisconsin. Beer, brats, and cheese are some of the first things that come to mind when people talk about Wisconsin. Why is that so?

Have you ever spent an evening at the local bowling alley, danced a polka at a Wisconsin wedding, or enjoyed a festive tailgate party before a Wisconsin sporting event? How have these events, and many others, become part of Wisconsin’s culture? What do these recreational events say about the people of Wisconsin?

Dairyland Food and Drink Recreation
Icon Wisconsin was an exhibit at the Wisconsin Historical Museum.