77 Interesting Facts About Delaware

Last updated on July 8th, 2023

54. “Punchin Chunkin” is a game where contestants gather to throw pumpkins an incredible lengths and was first played in Delaware in 1986. Sadly, the game is all but over, as it was last played in 2016.

55. The Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library in Winterthur, Delaware, was once the home of horticulturist and antique collector Henry Francis du Pont. It boasts an impressive 175 rooms with displays that are open to the public.

56. The Du Pont Company in Delaware, was founded in 1802 and was initially a gunpowder mill. At one point, it was the world’s largest chemical company. Between 2015 and 2017, it merged with several companies.

57. Initially a relic left over from the popular “Burning Man” festival, a 40,000 foot steampunk treehouse found its new home in Milton in 2010 when it was bought by the Dogfish Head Brewery.

Zwaanendael Club in Lewes Delaware. facts about Delaware
Zwaanendael Club in Lewes Delaware. Built in 1898 as a bank, based on a building in the Netherlands. Used as a Women’s Club starting 1930. Now a museum. Photo via Wikipedia.org

58. The Zwaanendael Museum was built to commemorate the arrival of the first European settlers in Delaware in 1631. It houses coastal and shipwreck exhibits, and has displays of the 1812 war for those who are interested in the history of this great state.

59. Redbird Reef, Delaware’s 1.3 nautical square mile man-made coastline is made up of over 700 retired tanks, subway cars, tugboats, and a cruise ship. Redbird Reef has increased the amount of marine life on the Delaware coastline by 400 times.

60. The world’s largest Lego tower, standing at a whopping 112-feet tall, was built in Wilmington, and overshadows the previous world champion tower in Prague by 6-feet.  

61. Delaware was the first American state to fly the Betsy Ross U.S flag in 1977. This flag is one of the older designs, and features the stars in a circle.

62. The longest ever poker tournament was played in Delaware Park in 2011. The tournament lasted 36 hours, 34 minutes, and 11 seconds, and was won by Peter Konas.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Facts about Delaware. Photo © Robin M Coventry

63. After World War II started, several observation towers were constructed along the Delaware coast, all standing between 39 and 75 feet tall. Today, 11 of these towers still remain.

64. The first scheduled railroad, built in 1835, was built in New Castle, Delaware. The train ran to Maryland and various locations to Philadelphia.

65. The Methodist Church of America first gathered at the now famous Barratt’s chapel in the idyllic seaside town of Frederica in 1784. One of the first preachers was Freeborn Garrettson.

66. Famed inventor Thomas Edison was a judge at the very first Miss United States beauty pageant in 1880. The pageant was held in Rehoboth Beach.

67. Dogfish Head Breweries, located in Milton, not only produces a whopping 175,000 barrels of beer a year, but they are also voted as one of the best breweries in the country. Tours to their facilities are free.

68. The University of Delaware was the first in America to run a study-abroad program. The program was initiated by a young professor in 1923. The study-abroad program celebrates its 100th year anniversary in 2023.

69. 321 doctoral degree candidates walked away with their PHD’s from the University of Delaware in 2018. The university offers 64 doctoral programs, with one of the most popular options being STEM (213 candidates).

70. Delaware was the only state in America that did not have a national park into the 21st century. Their only national park, the First State National Historical Park was created in 2013 and sits on 1,100 acres of land.

71. The Clifford Brown Jazz festival, held in Wilmington each year, is the largest free jazz festival of its type on the east coast. The festival welcomes over 2,000 festival goers each year. It celebrated its 36th year in 2023. The festival features over a dozen of the biggest jazz performers in the world.

72. Did you know that the privately owned Wolf Cave in Beaver Valley is the only natural cave in the state?

73. Delaware’s State Song (designated the official state song in 1925), “Our Delaware” contains four verses. The first three verses honor the three counties of the state while the fourth praises the state.

74. About 1785 American inventor Oliver Evans invented and promoted the process of continuous process milling. He built the first automated flour mill on Red-Clay Creek near Newport, DE.

75. Georgetown was originally planned around a one-mile wide circle that still serves as the center of town to this day — it’s this that gives Georgetown the distinct circular layout. The town also stands out for the diversity of its population: minorities make up just under 50% of total residents.

76. Elsmere measures exactly one square mile in size — pretty neat, right? It’s interesting to note that the town still has room for recreational parks in its small footprint (Veterans Park, Fairgrounds Park, Vilone Park, and a lot more).

77. Ryan Phillippe, who plays a key character in the classic horror film “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, hails from New Castle. Those who haven’t watched the film will recognize Ryan from other characters he’s played; Louis Roulet in “The Lincoln Lawyer”, and Bob Lee Swagger on the TV drama “Shooter” among others.

About the flag of Delaware

Flag of Delaware
The current flag of Delaware. Image in public domain.

The history of the flag of Delaware can be traced back to January 17, 1777, when Cole Dev Schrock won the contest to design the flag. However, it was officially adopted on July 24, 1913. The flag is characterized by a colonial blue background and a buff-colored diamond at the center.

Inside the diamond is the coat of arms, and December 7, 1787, is engraved below it. The date commemorates the day when Delaware ratified the federal Constitution for the first time in the United States, making it the first state to join the union. For this reason, Delaware gets a top priority during days of national importance, like presidential inaugurations.

Did you know?

Many people still confuse the buff hue for yellow. The Textile Color Card Association selects colonial blue and buff. Initially, the colors were designated by the Bureau of Standards, now the NIST- National Institute of Standards & Technology.

The governor of Delaware uses the same official flag of the state. However, his flag has a golden edge and a pole for mounting it on a blue state bird statue.

The colors

The two dominant colors on the flag of Delaware resonate with General George Washington’s uniform. The Continental Army troops were responsible for security during the American Revolution era. The soldiers had blue coats with buff trims. Between 1775 and 1783, troops from Delaware also carried these colors as their banners during the Revolutionary War. However, this flag was not officiated until 1913.

Elements of the coat of arms

Adopted on January 17, 1777, the coat of arms shows that Delaware is an agricultural state. The symbols on the coat of arms generally showcase the culture and lifestyle of the state in the late 18th century. They include an ox stepping on grass and white, green, and blue horizontal stripes. Above these parallel lines is an ear of corn and a sheaf of wheat.

‘Liberty and Independence’ is the motto beneath the shield, a phrase endorsed in 1847. It hangs from a banner at the feet of a farmer and a soldier. A soldier stands on the right side while the farmer is on the left side; both support the shield while a sailing ship is printed over it. These symbols are also present in the Delaware seal.


It is unclear what the diamond originally symbolized in the flag of Delaware. It is assumed that it was just a unique design. But it may insinuate an earlier nickname accorded to Delaware – Diamond State. It also alludes to the fact that Delaware is relatively smaller yet with a more significant economic value thanks to its strategic location on the Atlantic and outstanding leadership. However, the meanings of other elements are obvious.

• The farmer plays a crucial role in farming as it is one of the backbones of Delaware’s economy.
• The soldier or militiaman shows that the state acknowledges the effort that the army puts into maintaining peace and liberty.
• The ox represents the significance of cattle ranching in the state.
• Corn or maize is a symbol of agricultural produce.
• Ship embodies the flourishing coastal businesses, the shipbuilding industry, and trade.
• Water reflects the Delaware river, a vital part of transportation and trading.
• Wheat is a sign of agricultural vitality.

Delaware – quick facts and state symbols

State AbbreviationDE
State CapitalDover
List Of 50 U.S. States And Their Capital
Largest CityWilmington
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 2,489 sq miles; Land Only: 1,954 sq miles
1,031,890 (Estimate July 1, 2023 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodDecember 7, 1787
State rank by population45th
State rank by date of formation1st
State rank by area49th
Number of Counties3
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
Bordering StatesMaryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
Official LanguageNone
Highest PointNear the
Ebright Azimuth
447.85 ft (136.50468 m)
Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean
Sea level
Mean elevation60 feet above sea level
Length 96 miles (154 km)
Width30 miles (48 km)
GovernorJohn Carney (D)
Lieutenant GovernorBethany Hall-Long (D)
Electoral Votes3
State MottoLiberty and Independence
State NicknameDiamond State; First State
% Water21.7
Noble prize winnersDaniel Nathans (Physiology or Medicine, 1978)
Famous peopleAubrey Plaza (Actress)
Teri Polo (Actress)
Elisabeth Shue(Actress)
State TreeAmerican holly
State BirdBlue Hen Chicken
State BugLady bug
State ButterflyEastern tiger swallowtail
State DogGolden Retriever
State FruitStrawberries
State FishWeakfish
State FlowerPeach Blossom
State FossilBelmnites
State HerbSweet goldenrod
State MacroinvertebrateStonefly
State Marine animalHorseshoe Crab
State MineralSillimanite
State Tall ShipThe Kalmar Nyckel
Longitude75° 3′ W to 75° 47′ W
Latitude38° 27′ N to 39° 50′ N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone
Area Codes302
Table last updatedDecember 21, 2023