The Keystone State

Pennsylvania State Nickname


Signing of the U.S Constitution at Philadelphia Convention

Signing of the U.S Constitution at Philadelphia Convention (public domain image on Wikipedia).

The Keystone State

Pennsylvania's nickname is The Keystone State because it was the middle colony of the original 13 colonies and because Pennsylvania has held a key position in the economic, social, and political development of the United States. The state song of Pennsylvania also mentions the state nickname in the second verse: "Birthplace of a mighty nation, Keystone of the land." The word keystone is from architecture, it describes the central wedge-shaped stone in an arch which holds all the other stones in place.

Three of our most treasured documents were written in Pennsylvania: the US Constitution, the Declaration of independence, and the Gettysburg address.



The state of Pennsylvania USA (image by TUBS on Wikipedia; use permitted with attribution).

Pennsylvania USA

Architectural keystone on arch.

Keystone arch

Blue and gold Pennsylvania license plate featuring the "keystone" symbol; photo by Norm Russo (used by permission).

Blue and gold PA license plate with keystone symbol