South Dakota Flag

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South Dakota State Seal

Seal and Nickname

The South Dakota State Seal
The Great Seal of the State of South Dakota serves as a symbol of authenticity which verifies that government documents and papers of state are official and legal in the "Mount Rushmore State". The South Dakota state seal is also an emblem that is representative of the state's origins, history, character and ideals. The following motto, reflecting the spirit of the state, is also incorporated in the South Dakota state seal:

"Under God the people rule"

The South Dakota state seal identifies government buildings and officials and is a centerpiece for the South Dakota state flag. The symbolism, history and emblems of the seal are described in this article with fast facts and information.

South Dakota State Seal


Facts on the South Dakota State Seal
The men who designed the Great State seals were educated in the classics and were knowledgeable of art history and symbolism of heraldry. Fast, fun facts about the history and design of the South Dakota State Seal:

South Dakota State Seal Facts

Fact 1: The first seal used was that of the Dakota Territory that existed from March 2, 1861, until November 2, 1889 when statehood for North and South Dakota was achieved

Fact 2:  Fact 2: Territorial Governor William Jayne approved the design on January 3, 1863.
Fact 3: New Design Adopted in 1889

Dakota Territory Seal

Dakota Territory


Description, Symbols, Icons and Emblems of the South Dakota State Seal
The description and meaning of the symbols, icons and emblems are as follows:

The overall image portrays the South Dakota landscape, the transportation, the diversity of the  industries and the natural resources and lifestyle of the early inhabitants of the state

The mountains feature strongly at the top of the image with the cultivated land of the state
A farmer is depicted with a plow pulled by two mules representing the farming industry. Cattle are grazing in the field beyond

A steamboat, an extremely important mode of transport in the early history of South Dakota ascends the river.

The invention of steam power made it much easier to travel along the rivers, replacing the flat boats. Steamboats had a steam engine which turned a paddle wheel at the back of the boat.
The mining industry is represented by the picture of a smelting furnace. The Black Hills of Dakota became famous with the discovery of gold in 1874
The South Dakota seal is kept and used as required by the Constitution and laws of the state.

The South Dakota Seal of 1889
This is an early flyer containing an image of the 1889 design of the South Dakota State Seal. The pictures surrounding it are interesting as they convey the diversity of industries that were important to the early economy of the state. The farmer with horses pulling the haywain together with the wheat sheaths reflect agriculture. The town industries are represented in the other picture

Early South Dakota-seaL

South Dakota State Seal for Kids

Meaning & recent pictures of the South Dakota Seal
"Under God the people rule" motto
Find the meaning of the South Dakota Great Seal
Meaning, History, Symbols and Origin for kids
Meaning, symbols, design, description and history
Interesting facts & picture of the Great Seal
Official Nickname "Mount Rushmore State"
Meaning of the South Dakota Seal for schools, kids and children

South Dakota State Seal for Kids

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