North Dakota

North Dakota is popularly known as The “Flickertail” State.  Derived from the Sioux language, “Dakota” translates to mean “friend”.  North Dakota was admitted to the Union, on November 2, 1889, as the 39th state.  Concurrently, South Dakota also gained recognition as a state on the same date as the 40th state; however, due to alphabetically listing of states, North Dakota precedes its neighboring state.  The capital is Bismarck, and Fargo the largest city in the state.  North Dakota by area is the 19th biggest in the United States; however, it remains the third least populous according to the 2010 census reporting 672,591 residents.  

State Nickname

North Dakota is also commonly referred to by one of several nicknames including the Roughrider State, Peace Garden State, Sioux State, and Flickertail State.  The popular nickname “Flickertail” comes from the Richardson’s ground squirrel, a native animal of the state known for flicking its tail in a very distinguishing manner.

Climate Summary

The state has mostly a semi-arid, low temperatures climate and annual snow prevent it from being classified as having xeric climate.  Spring usually brings excessive flooding, especially in the Red River Valley, with annual precipitation ranging from 14 to 22 inches.  In 2009, the state was reported as the cleanest city in the U.S. by the American Lung Association

State Tax Situation

North Dakota also enforces its own collection of personal income. The state has a progressive income tax structure with five brackets of income tax rates ranging from 2.1% to 5.54%.  Average sales tax is 5% for most items. North Dakota ranks as the 30th most “ business friendly” tax environment in the nation. 

Government Summary

Based on the introduction of the initiative of the Constitution in 1898, North Dakota was the first U.S. state to establish governmental power into three branches including executive, legislative, and judicial.  Regional government also recognizes three Sioux, Three Affiliated Tribes and an Ojibwa reservation. The governor for the state serves a four-year term.

State Seal

Adopted in 1889, the Great Seal of North Dakota reflects homage to the state’s landscape with open prairies and majestic mountains. Native American heritage is depicted with the image of an Indian on horseback with bow and arrow. The contributions of agriculture are also represented with images of bundled wheat and plow, all surrounding a single oak tree. 

Motto And Description 

The infamous motto for the state of North Dakota is “Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable”.  The motto on the state’s seal is engraved hovering over forty-two stars, as a symbol of the state joining the union with the other existing states of the Nation.

State Flag

North Dakota’s flag is displayed on a dark blue background with an eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other.  Flowing from the beak is a ribbon with the words “One nation made up of many states”. The Stars represent the original thirteen states with the fan shape commemorating the birth of the U.S.

State Bird

The state bird of North Dakota is the colorful Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta). The state bird is medium in size of approximately 8.5 inches long and typically nests on the ground found in the open country in western and central U.S.  Its main diet consists of insects, seeds and berries.

State Flower

The state flower of North Dakota is the Wild Prairie Rose (Rosa arkansana). The flower is also commonly referred to as the Meadow Rose or Smooth Rose, which both are found further to the north.  The Wild Prairie Rose is typically grown as ornamental plants, and native to several states including North Dakota.

State Animal

As of 1993, the state animal was declared as the Nokota Horse.  During the early 20th century, the Nokota was almost eradicated due to ranchers and state and federal government attempts to reduce the competition for livestock grazing purposes.  The Nokota is blue roan in color exhibiting an ambling gait, or the “Indian shuffle”.

State Song And Description

North Dakota is one of the forty-eight states that have its own state song selected by the respective state legislature. Appropriately named, “North Dakota Hymn” written by James Foley in 1926, serves as the state’s song. C.S. Putman composed the music which may also be sung with the tune of “The Austrian Hymn.”   

State Colors 

There are really no officially chosen state colors associated with the state of North Dakota other than the dark blue background, flowing red banner and yellow scroll on the state flag.  However, the distinguished game colors for die-hard fans of The University of North Dakota are green, white, and black.