By now, most residents of the Commonwealth have seen the official Massachusetts State Flag. The banner, controversial to some, is white, blue, and gold.

Those must be the state's official colors, no?

Not even close.

Then-Governor Mitt Romney signed legislation on February 21, 2005, making blue, green, and cranberry the official Massachusetts state colors.

So why did he do that?

Judith Marceau's third grade class at the Elm Street School in Gardner came up with the colors green, blue, and cranberry as part of a 2000 civics project.

The Official Massachusetts State Colors, Not What You Think
Getty Images

The Milford Daily News reported in 2004, "The class debated which colors would be most appropriate, choosing from colors of historical significance. They nixed black, symbolizing the Salem witchcraft trials. It wasn't positive enough."

"Instead, they chose cranberry because Massachusetts once produced 70% of the world's crop of the fruit," the paper reported.

The paper said the students picked blue "for Cape Cod Bay that the Pilgrims sailed over," and they chose green to match the color of the Connecticut River Valley and the Berkshire Mountains.

The designation of the official state colors was drafted into legislation, and after four years, it was enacted.

The Official Massachusetts State Colors, Not What You Think
Mary Serreze/Townsquare Media

Marceau said it was a learning experience for the students, telling the Milford Daily News, "The one thing they learned is the wheels of our government do move slowly."

There is a whole list of state/official symbols covering everything from the Official State Bird to the Official Glee Club Song. There is even an Official Massachusetts State Polka Song, Cookie, Groundhog and Bean.

Your government in action.

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