South Dakota is located in the North-central area of the United States of America. It is bordered by North Dakota on the North, Minnesota and Iowa to the East, Nebraska to the South, and Wyoming and Montana to the West.
The capital of South Dakota is the city of Pierre, though Sioux Falls is its most populous city, with about a quarter of South Dakotans living in the area. There are a few major population centres across the East and West portions of the state. The rest of the state's population is spread across the state, in small settlements or large ranch lands.
Evidence of early settlement in South Dakota has been found as far back as 5,000 years ago. Between the years of 500 - 800, the area was home to a people referred to as "Mound Builders", as they built mounds for their dead which are still standing today. Due to disease and warfare with other peoples, the "Mound Builders" went extinct around the year 800. An unknown group of people settled in the state between the years of 1250 and 1400, but not much is known of them. The Arikara started settling the state in the 16th century, but were gradually pushed out of the area by the Oceti Sakowin people starting in the 17th century, and the Arikara went extinct after merging with another group of people in North Dakota.
Europeans started setting in the area of South Dakota in the 18th century. A viable fur trade existed between European settlers and native people of the area. Unfortunately, due to the need for land for European settlers and the discovery of gold in the area led to a number of clashes with the native populations, and eventually battles which were won by the settlers. The native people were moved on to reservations, and their land was used by settlers.
North and South Dakota were considered one region, but when joining the United States in 1889, was split into North and South Dakota for political reasons.
The original flag of South Dakota was adopted in 1909, and was blue with a blank yellow sun in the middle, with "The Sunshine State" written on the bottom of the sun. In 1963, the sun in the centre was modified to include the seal of the state. In 1992, the flag was changed again, with the text "The Mount Rushmore State" replacing the bottom text. The images within the seal represent the state's economy, agriculture, industry, and natural resources.
South Dakota gets its name from the Dakota Territory, the area of land purchased from France in 1803, which was named after the Dakota people who lived in the area at the time. When Dakota was to join the United States in 1889, it was split into a North and South state, for political reasons.