Illinois Flag

State of Illinois

Nicknames: The Prairie State, Land of Lincoln
Motto(s): State Sovereignty, National Union
Date of Statehood: December 3, 1818 (21st state)
State Song: “Illinois” by C.H. Chamberlain and Archibald Johnston

Illinois Flag History

The flag of Illinois, adopted in 1915 and modified in 1969, encapsulates the state’s identity and its historical significance. The flag features the state seal of Illinois on a white background. The seal, designed in 1819 by Sharon Tyndale, depicts an eagle perched on a rock with a shield, holding a banner in its beak with the state motto “State Sovereignty, National Union.” The eagle symbolizes the United States, while the rock represents the State of Illinois.

Below the eagle is the date of statehood, December 3, 1818, and below the date is the number 1818, the year Illinois became a state. In 1969, the word “ILLINOIS” was added to the bottom of the flag to ensure that it could be identified easily.

The flag’s symbolism is a nod to Illinois’ rich history, its role in the Union, and its unity and sovereignty as a state. The flag is a daily reminder of the state’s journey, its unity, and its commitment to the principles of sovereignty and national union.

Illinois Quick Facts

Capital City: Springfield
Abbreviation: IL
Population: Approximately 12.6 million
Region: Midwest
Origin of State Name: Algonquin for “tribe of superior men”
Sports Teams: Chicago Bears (NFL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago White Sox (MLB), Chicago Cubs (MLB)
Bordering States: Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa
Area Codes: Multiple including 217, 312, 618, 630, 773, and others
Highest Point: Charles Mound at 1,235 feet (376 meters)
Lowest Point: Mississippi River at 279 feet (85 meters)

Geography of Illinois

Area: 57,914 square miles (149,995 square kilometers), 25th largest
Land: 55,593 square miles (143,969 square kilometers), 24th largest
Water: 2,320 square miles (6,027 square kilometers), 28th largest
Coastline: None (landlocked state)
Shoreline: None (landlocked state)

Largest Cities:

  1. Chicago
  2. Aurora
  3. Rockford
  4. Joliet
  5. Naperville
  6. Springfield
  7. Peoria
  8. Elgin
  9. Waukegan
  10. Cicero
  11. Champaign
  12. Bloomington
  13. Decatur
  14. Evanston
  15. Schaumburg

National Parks:

  • Shawnee National Forest
  • Lincoln Home National Historic Site
  • Pullman National Monument
  • Gateway Arch National Park (nearby in St. Louis, MO)

Illinois State Symbols

Living Insignia

State Bird: Northern Cardinal
State Animal: White-tailed Deer
State Amphibian: Eastern Tiger Salamander
State Butterfly: Monarch Butterfly
State Fish: Bluegill
State Flower: Violet
State Horse Breed: None
State Insect: Monarch Butterfly
State Mammal: White-tailed Deer
State Reptile: Painted Turtle

Inanimate Insignia

State Fruit: GoldRush Apple (Malus domestica)
State Gemstone: None
State Soil: Drummer silty clay loam
State Tree: White Oak
State Quarter: Issued in 2003 featuring a young Abraham Lincoln, the Chicago skyline, and the state outline with the inscription “Land of Lincoln”
State Beverage: None
State Colors: None official
State Dance: Square Dance
State Food: Popcorn
State Fossil: Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium)
State Mineral: Fluorite
State Rock: None