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 4 of them claim the walleye. But only state claims the codfish. The cod is the official fish of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The codfish is not just any old cod. It's 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.

There 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 refered 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 refered to as the holy mackerel of course.

Yes there is a cod... in Massachusetts.
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