State Symbols of Illinois

Last updated on January 21st, 2023 by Editorial Staff

By | Updated on January 21, 2023

Reviewed by Rittika

Illinois is a constituent state in the Midwestern United States. The state of Illinois was named after the Illinois River. French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle gave the river its name in an attempt to document the region’s numerous rivers and waterways. The name was inspired by the Native Americans he met on the river’s banks. The name Illinois is derived from the Native American term “iliniwok” or “illiniwek,” which means “best people”. It referred to the 10 to 12 tribes that lived along the river.

Illinois is bordered by Wisconsin to the north, Iowa and Missouri to the west, Kentucky to the east and south, and Indiana to the east. The Mississippi River defines the state’s western border, the Ohio and Wabash rivers constitute its southeastern border, and the Illinois River runs through it. Illinois also shares a border with Michigan, but only along the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan.

Chicago, the country’s third largest city, is located on the state’s northeastern border, while Springfield is the state capital. 

The fun fact is that the world’s first brownie was invented in Chicago by Bertha Palmer for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. 

The first atom was split in 1942 at 3:25 p.m. on the premises of the University of Chicago. The event is regarded as the beginning of the atomic age.

With a total population of 12,812,508, as noted in the census of 2020, and with a total area of 57,914 sq mi (149,996 sq km), the state has the sixth largest population and the twenty-fifth largest land area.

There have been two variants of the state flag. The first was implemented in 1915. In 1970, the state flag was modified. Its layout features an exact reproduction of the Illinois State Seal on a white background with the word “Illinois” under the seal.

Indian habitation began around 8000 BCE. The French were the first Europeans to arrive in the 17th century, settling near the Mississippi River. In 1673, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, two French explorers, made their way into the region. After the French and Indian War, Britain took control of it in 1763, ending France’s dominion over it. In 1783, it became a part of the Northwest Territory, and in 1800, it became a part of the Indiana Territory. Illinois was admitted to the Union as the 21st state on December 3, 1818.

Illinois was the first state of the United States to approve the 13th amendment to the Constitution, which ended slavery.

Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Barack Obama were all elected presidents of the United States while living in Illinois. Illinois has had an official state slogan, “Land of Lincoln,” since 1955. 

In 2003, popcorn was designated as the state’s official snack food. 

The state bird of Illinois is the Northern cardinal, the state flower is the Violet, and the state song is “Illinois”. 

The official language of the state of Illinois is English.


  • Naeem Noor

    As a graduate in Modern Literature, my fascination with symbolism, especially the symbolism of nations, drives my work at SymbolHunt. Through my articles, I passionately delve into the hidden meanings behind national emblems and motifs. Drawing on my expertise in language and culture, I invite readers to join me on a journey of exploration into the rich tapestry of symbolism that defines our world, fostering a deeper appreciation for our shared cultural heritage.

State Information

Official Language English
State Rank 25
Demonym(s) Illinoisan
Nickname Land of Lincoln, Prairie State
Formation Date December 3, 1818
Coordinates Lat: 36° 58′ N to 42° 30′ N, Long: 87° 30′ W to 91° 31′ W

State seal

Motto of Illinois

"State Sovereignty, National Union"

State symbols of Illinois 👇

State location

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State Flag of Illinois