Illinois is a state located in the East-Central United States of America. It is bordered by Wisconsin to the North, Lake Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky to the East, and Missouri and Iowa to the West.
The capital of Illinois is the city of Springfield around the centre of the state, with the majority of the state's population living around Chicago on the North Eastern shore. The rest of the popuation is spread around the state in smaller cities.
Evidence has shown the area of Illinois to be home to native populations as far back as 7,000 years ago. The region was home to a number of different native peoples throughout history, with more and more groups coming to the region in later years. French explorers arrived in the region in 1673, and through their influence the native populations shifted and either left the region, or merged into one large group called the Preoria of Oklahoma.
Illinois became the 21st state of the United States in 1818.
The Illinois state flag has the state seal in the middle of it, and was designed to be similar to the United States' seal. The banner in the eagle's mouth has the state's motto written on it. The shield's thirteen stars and stripes represent the country's first thirteen states (of which Illinois was not a part of). The two years written on the rock represent the year Illinois became a state (1818) and the year the state seal was adopted (1868).
Illinois is named after the native people of the region when French settlers first arrived. It is a French spelling of illinwe, itself an Ojibwe spelling of irenwe·wa, which roughly translates to "he speaks the regular way" from the Miami people of the area.