The state of South Dakota is considering changing its flag—again! More than 80 lawmakers are in support of replacing the current state flag with a new design featuring a sunburst, a Native American medicine wheel, and concentric blue circles. The new flag, designed in 1989 by Spearfish native Dick Termes, does not include the state seal or any lettering, which many believe is essential in creating a great flag. The current flag, which sports the seal and the state nickname, “The Mount Rushmore State,” has 17 words on it. The first official flag, adopted in 1909, featured a sun with the words “South Dakota” above it and “The Sunshine State” below. On the reverse side was the seal with the state motto “Under God the People Rule.” The seal and the sun were combined and the nickname changed to “The Mount Rushmore State” in 1992, which is the South Dakota flag of today. It was ranked as the fifth-worst state flag in 2001 by the members of the North American Vexillological Association, an organization dedicated to the scientific study of flags.
We will continue with updates as this potential legislation moves forward.