South Dakota

South Dakota Flag

State of South Dakota

Nicknames: Mount Rushmore State, Coyote State
Motto(s): Under God, the people rule
Date of Statehood: November 2, 1889 (40th state)
State Song: “Hail, South Dakota!” by DeeCort Hammitt

South Dakota Flag History

The flag of South Dakota, adopted in 1909 and later modified in 1963 and 1992, features the state seal surrounded by a golden blazing sun in a field of sky blue, symbolizing the state’s promise and rich resources. The state seal, encapsulating the state’s values, showcases a river, a farmer plowing a field, a mine, cattle, and a steamboat, denoting South Dakota’s agriculture, industry, and natural beauty. Above the seal, “South Dakota” is written, confirming the state’s identity.

The flag’s colors, blue and gold, represent the sky and the Black Hills’ golden sunlight. The sun symbolizes the state’s bright future and the warmth of its people. The flag’s imagery and colors offer a visual narrative of South Dakota’s history, natural wealth, and the industrious nature of its citizens.

South Dakota Quick Facts

Capital City: Pierre
Abbreviation: SD
Population: Approximately 884,000
Region: Midwest
Origin of State Name: Named after the Dakota Sioux Native American tribes
Sports Teams: No major professional sports teams, significant presence in college sports
Bordering States: North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana
Area Codes: 605
Highest Point: Black Elk Peak at 7,242 feet (2,207 meters)
Lowest Point: Big Stone Lake on the Minnesota border at 966 feet (294 meters)

Geography of South Dakota

Area: 77,116 square miles (199,730 square kilometers), 17th largest
Land: 75,811 square miles (196,350 square kilometers), 16th largest
Water: 1,305 square miles (3,380 square kilometers), 39th largest
Coastline: None (landlocked state)
Shoreline: None (landlocked state)

Largest Cities:

  1. Sioux Falls
  2. Rapid City
  3. Aberdeen
  4. Brookings
  5. Watertown
  6. Mitchell
  7. Yankton
  8. Pierre
  9. Huron
  10. Spearfish
  11. Vermillion
  12. Brandon
  13. Box Elder
  14. Madison
  15. Sturgis

National Parks:

  • Badlands National Park
  • Wind Cave National Park
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Jewel Cave National Monument
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site

South Dakota State Symbols

Living Insignia

State Bird: Ring-necked Pheasant
State Animal: Coyote
State Amphibian: None
State Butterfly: None
State Fish: Walleye
State Flower: American Pasqueflower
State Horse Breed: None
State Insect: Honeybee
State Mammal: Coyote
State Reptile: Western Hognose Snake

Inanimate Insignia

State Fruit: None
State Gemstone: Fairburn Agate
State Soil: Houdek
State Tree: Black Hills Spruce
State Quarter: Issued in 2006 featuring Mount Rushmore, a pheasant, wheat, and the state outline
State Beverage: Milk
State Colors: Blue and Gold (same as the flag)
State Dance: Square Dance
State Food: Frybread
State Fossil: Triceratops
State Mineral: Rose Quartz
State Rock: Quartzite