South Dakota

flag of South Dakota
The Mount Rushmore State
Admitted November 2, 1889

South Dakota’s first state flag was designed by Ida Anding McNeil, a local stenographer. It was adopted July 1, 1909 and featured a two-sided design: a golden sun on the obverse and the state seal on the reverse.

Proving difficult to manufacture, the flag was redesigned in 1963. The seal was moved to the obverse and placed on top of the sun.

The flag was updated one more time, when the nickname inscribed was changed from “The Sunshine State” to “The Mount Rushmore State.”

This version of the flag was officially adopted July 1, 1992.


The South Dakota flag features a field of sky blue charged with the state seal in white and dark blue, centered.

Surrounding the seal is a serrated, golden sun. Around the sun, the words “South Dakota” are inscribed above and “The Mount Rushmore State” below.

flag of South Dakota


  • “The Mount Rushmore State” inscribed in a bottom half-circle


    Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills

  • a serrated sunburst


    the Sunshine State, South Dakota’s nickname until 1992

  • 1889


    the year South Dakota gained statehood

  • “Under God the People Rule” on a banner


    Under God the People Rule.

    Note: It is one of three flags to include a reference to God.

  • a farmer and two horses plowing a field


    agricultural tradition

  • a landscape with homes and a smelt furnace expelling smoke

    smelt furnace

    gold and mining industries

  • a steamboat travels a riverway


    transportation, commerce, the Missouri River


The South Dakota flag uses a unique sky blue for its field.

South Dakota statute does not provide Cable or Pantone values for the colors of the flag.The hex values here are approximations.
Sky Blue


The South Dakota flag uses a proportion of 3:5.

Within the field, the seal should be 4/9 the width of the hoist and the sun, 5/9. The width each of the golden letters should be 1/18 the width of the hoist.

Flags made for indoor use should have three sides of golden fringe 1/18 the width of the hoist.

construction sheet for the flag of South Dakota

Previous iterations

  • a field of blue charged with a gold wavy sunburst and surrounded by “South Dakota” and “The Sunshine State”

    1909–1963 Obverse

    Ida Anding McNeil’s design featuring the sunburst.

  • a field of blue charged with the state seal in full color

    1909–1963 Reverse

    The reverse side featuring the state seal.

  • similar to the current version with a bicolor seal, but featuring a darker blue field and “The Sunshine State”


    The seal is moved to the obverse of the flag and the sunburst simplified.

  • the current flag


    The text is changed to “The Mount Rushmore State.”