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The Flag of South Dakota

South Dakota (/- dəˈktə/ ; Sioux: Dakȟóta itókaga, pronounced [daˈkˣota iˈtokaga]) is a U.S. state in the North Central region of the United States. It is also part of the Great Plains. South Dakota is named after the Dakota Sioux tribe, which comprises a large portion of the population with nine reservations currently in the state and has historically dominated the territory. South Dakota is the 17th largest by area, but the 5th least populous, and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. Pierre is the state capital, and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 213,900, is South Dakota's most populous city. The state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known to residents as "East River" and "West River". South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota (to the north), Minnesota (to the east), Iowa (to the southeast), Nebraska (to the south), Wyoming (to the west), and Montana (to the northwest).

Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers triggered a number of Indian wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. As the southern part of the former Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota. They are the 39th and 40th states admitted to the union; President Benjamin Harrison shuffled the statehood papers before signing them so that no one could tell which became a state first.

Key events in the 20th century included the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 1950s for agriculture and defense, and an industrialization of agriculture that has reduced family farming. Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, and the area's fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri River, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. Most of the Native American reservations are in West River. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux, is in the southwest part of the state. Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination, is there. South Dakota has a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The state's ecology features species typical of a North American grassland biome. (Full article...)

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The Crazy Horse Memorial in 2020

The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument under construction on privately held land in the Black Hills, in Custer County, South Dakota, United States. It will depict the Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse, riding a horse and pointing to his tribal land. The memorial was commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota elder, to be sculpted by Korczak Ziolkowski. It is operated by the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

The monument has been in progress since 1948 and is far from completion. If completed as designed, it will become the world's second tallest statue, after the Statue of Unity in India. (Full article...)
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The flag of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, consists of a zigzag pattern of thin white and blue lines, which divides an upper blue portion and a lower pinkish-red portion, and a yellow sun in the upper left corner. The zigzag represents the namesake falls of the Big Sioux River. The blue color and the sun allude to the flag of South Dakota. The pinkish-red portion represents the Sioux Quartzite nearby. The upward direction of the design represents the growth of Sioux Falls. The red, white and blue colors included in the flag are also a reference to the flag of the United States while maintaining city and state pride.

In 2004, the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) rated the design of flags from the 100 largest cities in the U.S., all 50 state capitals and at least two cities per state. Sioux Falls did not have an entry in the rating because it did not have a flag. (Full article...)

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Largest cities

Cities in South Dakota, with their populations (as of July 1, 2020, as enumerated by the 2020 United States census):

2020 rank City 2020 census[1] 2010 census[2] Change County
1 Sioux Falls † 192,517 153,888 +25.10% Minnehaha
2 Rapid City † 74,703 67,956 +9.93% Pennington
3 Aberdeen † 28,495 26,091 +9.21% Brown
4 Brookings † 23,377 22,056 +5.99% Brookings
5 Watertown † 22,655 21,482 +5.46% Codington
6 Mitchell † 15,660 15,254 +2.66% Davison
7 Yankton † 15,411 14,454 +6.62% Yankton
8 Huron † 14,263 12,592 +13.27% Beadle
9 Pierre ‡ 14,091 13,646 +3.26% Hughes
10 Spearfish 12,193 10,494 +16.19% Lawrence
County seat
State capital and county seat
See List of cities in South Dakota for a full list.


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  1. ^ "2020 Census Results". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  2. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder2. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved October 29, 2012.[dead link]