South Dakota State Flag

The South Dakota flag is an important emblem of the state’s power and sovereignty and a vital resource for its people. Under the United States of America flag, the state flag is flown over all state buildings.

The South Dakota Flag’s history

Initial Flag

The first flag with the sun in the front and the seal in the back was created by Ida Anding McNeil in 1909. Anding created it so that the golden sun appeared in the middle of a blue field.

The state’s name, South Dakota, was above the sun, while its moniker, The Sunshine State, was below. The flag was formally raised on July 1, 1909, when the legislature added the state seal. Up until 1963, this flag served as the state flag.

Third Flag

In a parliamentary session in 1963, William Sahr of Pierre submitted a measure that resulted in the creation of the second flag. The sun had a serrated edge on a field of sky blue in the new flag, which was one-sided.

But they inserted the seal into the sun. South Dakota’s name and moniker, The Sunshine State, were everywhere around the sun.

Further Modifications

A modification to the state’s flag was made in 1992. The moniker change was given legislative approval. The Sunshine State has been replaced with The Mount Rushmore State.

Provisions in the 1992 and 1963 legislative amendments stated that prior flags would continue to serve as official state flags. The South Dakota flag was ranked as one of the worst five in North America by the Vexillological Association of North America in 2001.

In a 2012 legislative session, a bill to approve Dick Terme’s flag created in Spearfish was introduced. Concentric blue circles, a sunburst, and an American Indian medicine wheel were all included on this flag. Later, the house committee rejected the modification requests.

Existing flag

The current South Dakota flag features a sky-blue background with a golden sun blazing around the seal. Around the sun, the words South Dakota and The Mount Rushmore State are positioned in a circle.

On July 1, 1992, the old moniker was replaced with the current one. There are gold sans-serif letters used to spell out the two names. The Black Hills and the sky may be seen behind the seal.

One can see a steamer traveling down the Missouri River in the foreground. The ship looks to travel through industrial and agricultural terrain to the left and right, respectively. South Dakota’s agriculture is depicted with a herd of cattle grazing adjacent to a cornfield.

A farmer using a team of horses to plow a field is another image of the agricultural industry. The mining industry is represented by a hoist house, a smelting furnace, and a mill and dump.

A state motto

Dr. Joseph Ward proposed the first seal design with the motto, which is also written on the seal and reads, Under God the People Rule. The proposition was subsequently approved at the end of the constitutional convention in 1885.

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