South Dakota's state flag consists
of a field of sky blue charged with a version (in navy blue
on white) of the State Seal in the center, surrounded by
gold triangles representing the sun's rays, surrounded in
turn by inscriptions in gold sans-serif capitals of "SOUTH
DAKOTA" on top and "THE MOUNT RUSHMORE STATE" (the state
nickname) on the bottom.
MOTTO: "Under God the People Rule"
ENTERED UNION: Nov. 2, 1889
FLAG ADOPTED: 1909, (Revised in 1963, then again
COMMENTS: The original state flag used both sides
of the flag, displayed on the
obverse side the "blazing sun in gold" and on the
reverse, the Great Seal of the State of South
Dakota. Due to high manufacturing cost, the flag was
revised to a one-sided flag in 1963.
According to the South Dakota
website there have been three official state flags in the
state's history. Ida Anding McNeil created the first one in
1909. It had the sun on the front with the words "South
Dakota" above the sun and the state motto "The Sunshine
State" below. The state seal was on the back. Since a flag
with two different sides was difficult and expensive to
manufacture, it was decided, in 1963, to combine the Sun and
Seal together in one image and place it on the front side of
the flag, leaving the backside a solid color. In 1992, when
the state’s motto changed to "The Mount Rushmore State", the
flag was again revised, replacing the old motto with the
new. This is the official flag currently in use by South
State Flag, South
First Flag, 1909 to
Second Flag, 1963
- Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon is
the largest park of its kind in the world. Fossils and
petrified wood are arranged in unusual shapes, including
a castle and pyramids.
- South Dakota is the home of the
Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota tribes, which together make
up the Sioux Nation.
- The world's largest, most
complete, and best preserved specimen of Tyrannosaurus
Rex discovered to date (2001) was unearthed on the
Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in 1990. It was named
Sue after the fossil hunter who found it.
- In 1959, with the addition of
Alaska and Hawaii to the Union, the geographic center of
the United States moved from Lebanon, Kansas, to a point
near Belle Fourche, South Dakota.
- The 6,200-foot Mount Rushmore
was created in 1927 by sculptor Gutzon Borglum for $1
million. It took him 14 years to create.
- The Missouri River cuts through
the center of the state.