Welcome to the Coyote State! South Dakota has around 30 official state symbols. They include some of America’s strangest symbols. (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||The Mount Rushmore State, Sunshine State, Coyote State, Blizzard State, Artesian State||1980|
|Slogan||Great Faces, Great Places,||1990|
|Symbols of State|
|Motto||Under God the People Rule||1885||>|
|Song||Hail, South Dakota||1943||>|
|Flower||American pasqueflower (Pulsatilla patens)||1903||>|
|Tree||Black Hills spruce (Picea glauca)||1947||>|
|Grass||western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii)||1970||>|
|Bird||ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchichus)||1943||>|
|Animal||coyote (Canis latrans)||1949||>|
|Fish||walleye (Sander vitreus)||1982||>|
|Insect||honeybee (Apis mellifera)||1978||>|
|Mineral Stone||rose quartz||1966||>|
|Jewelry||Black Hills gold||1988||>|
|Fossil †||Triceratops (Triceratops)||1988||>|
|Drink||milk, lac vacuum||1986||>|
|Fishing Museum||The Museum of Wildlife, Science and Industry located in the city of Webster||2004||>|
|Mining Museum||Black Hills Mining Museum in Lead||2014||>|
|Hall of Fame||The South Dakota Hall of Fame — Chamberlain||1996||>|
The nickname Coyote State was inspired by a horse, and the state bird was introduced from China. While various states have official minerals and/or stones, South Dakota has an official “mineral stone.” The state fishing museum didn’t even exist when it was adopted. Worst of all is Mt. Rushmore, a monument to four of America’s greatest racists blasted out of rock on Indian land.
To hell with Mt. Rushmore. I grew up in rural West Dakota, and my favorite Dakota icons include the prairie, prairie dogs, mourning doves, grasshoppers, and sweet corn. Yes, I learned to love pheasants, too.
I hate South Dakota’s grotesquely ugly flag, which says nothing about South Dakota. As a son of the prairie, I designed my own West Dakota flag.
If you think state flags and flowers are nothing more than trivia, guess again. A thorough exploration of the more than 1,500 items adopted as state symbols embraces geography, history, and psychology.
You have found the best state symbols website, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The introduction above is adapted from Geobop’s State Symbols and My State Symbols Book, by far the biggest and most detailed state symbols references ever. You can learn still more about the symbols of the 50 states in the books Flag Quest and Grading the States. (Learn more about them here.)
After you spend some time exploring your favorite state’s symbols, you can come back here and tell us what you think about them.