Montana is a state located in the Northwest of the United States. It is bordered by Canada to the North, North Dakota and South Dakota to the East, Wyoming to the South, and Idaho to the Southwest and West.
The capital of Montana is the city of Helena, though the largest city in the state is Billings. The majority of Montanans live in a few cities spread out around the Western half of the state. The rest of the population is spread out throughout the state, usually in small towns or living on large ranchlands.
Montana's economy is based on a number of areas, such as mining, farming (especially cattle), beer microbrewing, forestry, and tourism.
Montana was home to a number of native populations that lived in the area for thousands of years. During the fur trade industry of the 19th century, European settlement started, and started bringing diseases, competition for land, and wars between settlers and native populations. In the late 19th century, a bill was passed to allow the mass hunting of bison, a native species to the area that the natives relied on, in order to wipe out the species and deprive the natives of their main food source. Over time, many native people were made to live in reservations, which is still where the majority of native people live today.
Montana joined the United States as the forty-first state in 1889.
The flag of Montana was adopted in 1905, and was modified in 1981 to include the name of the state above the state's seal in the middle. In the centre are the Great Falls, a waterfall along the Missouri River within Montana. In front of that are a shovel, pickaxe, and plough, which represent the state's industry. The state's motto is in the bottom of the seal, which reads "Oro y Plata", Spanish for "gold and silver".
The name of Montana comes from the Spanish word "montaña", meaning "mountain" or "mountainous area". When Spanish explorers first discovered the area of Montana and the surrounding area, they called it "Montaña del Norte", for "Northern mountainous area".