Illinois, known as the Land of Lincoln or The Prairie State, was the sixth most populous state in 2008. It became the 21st U.S. state on December 3, 1818. Illinois comes from a Native American word meaning "tribe of superior men." It is located in the midwest and shares borders with Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin. Illinois is famous for its politics. Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama all lived in the state. The largest city in Illinois is Chicago and the state capital is Springfield. Illinois has a very productive agricultural and industrial economy. (3-page lesson)
State Flag of Illinois
The state flag of Illinois is white with the state seal in the center.
A prize of $25 was offered to the winner of a contest to design the flag. The Rockford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution entry by Miss Lucy Derwent was chosen.
The bald eagle represents the United States. The state motto, State Sovereignty, National Union, means that Illinois governs itself under the government of the United States.
The thirteen bars and thirteen stars on the shield represent the first thirteen states.
The two dates on the boulder are the dates of Statehood and of the State Seal. The ground symbolizes the state's rich prairie soil.