From the Archives: Arkansas Information

THE NATURAL STATE

 

The Flag of the State of Arkansas

Ms. Willie K. Hocker of Pine Bluff, Arkansas was the designer of Arkansas' unique and symbolic state flag. It was adopted in 1913. Ms. Hocker's plan called for a white diamond in the center of a red field, with a border of blue around the white diamond. In the blue border are 25 stars, indicating that Arkansas was the 25th state. In the white diamond are three blue stars indicating the nations of Spain, France and The United States, of which Arkansas has been a part . They also signify that Arkansas was the third state to be formed from the Louisiana Territory. The large blue star above the word "Arkansas" recalls the Confederacy, of which the "Stars and Bars" theme is reflected in many other states flags that were once in the Confederacy. The large diamond in the center indicates that Arkansas is the only diamond producing state.

 

The Seal of the State of Arkansas

In the lower half of the circle of the Seal is an eagle holding in its beak a scroll, inscribed "Regnat Populus" (The People Rule), a bundle of arrows in one claw and an olive branch in the other. The breast of the eagle is covered with a shield, on which is engraved a steamboat, a bee-hive, a plow, and a sheaf of wheat. Above the eagle is placed the figure of the Goddess of Liberty, holding a wreath in one hand and a liberty pole with cap in the other. The Goddess is surrounded with a circle of stars and rays. The figure to the left of the eagle is that of the Angel of Mercy, supporting the shield against the eagle with her left hand. The sword of Justice is to the right of the shield.

 

Facts and Figures of Arkansas

CAPITAL: Little Rock

STATEHOOD: June 15, 1836

POPULATION:  2,673,400

MAJOR CITIES:

Little Rock:  183,133

Fort Smith:  80,268

North Little Rock:  60, 433

Fayetteville:  58,047

Jonesboro:  55,515

*Source:  2000 U.S. Census

AREA:  53,225 square miles

GREATEST DISTANCES:

East-West = 275 miles

North-South = 240 miles

ELEVATION:

Highest: Magazine Mountain in Logan County, 2,823 feet above sea level.

Lowest: Ouachita River in Ashley and Union counties (55 feet).

MOTTO:  "Regnat Populus" (The People Rule)

NICKNAME:  "The Natural State"

SONG:  "Arkansas"

INSTRUMENT:  Fiddle

GEM:  Diamond

INSECT:  Honeybee

BIRD:  Mockingbird

GOVERNMENT:

U.S. Senators - 2

U.S. Representatives - 4

Electoral Votes - 6

State Senators - 35

State Representatives - 100

Counties - 75

Voting Age - 18 years

PRODUCTS:

Manufacturing and Processing: Food Products, Lumber & Wood Products, Paper & Allied Products

Agriculture: Cotton, Corn, Rice, Soybeans, Meat Animals, Poultry & Eggs

Mining: Bauxite, Natural Gas, Petroleum, Sand & Gravel, and Stone

 

Important Dates in Arkansas History

1541--Hernando de Soto of Spain explored the region.

1673--Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet of France explored the Mississippi River as far south as the mouth of the Arkansas River.

1682--Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, claimed the Mississippi Valley for France.

1685--Henri de Tonti, a friend of La Salle, established a camp at the mouth of the Arkansas River.

1803--The United States acquired Arkansas as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

1819--The Arkansas Territory was formed from the Missouri Territory.

1836--Arkansas became the 25th state on June 15.

1861--Arkansas seceded from the Union

1868--Arkansas was readmitted to the Union.

1874--Reconstruction ended, and the state adopted its present constitution.

1887--Bauxite was discovered near Little Rock.

1921--The first oil well was drilled in the El Dorado field.

1946--Congress approved the Arkansas River Development Program.

1957--National Guard men and federal troops helped enforce a court order to integrate Little Rock's Central High School.

1964--Orval E. Faubus became the first Arkansas governor to be elected to a sixth consecutive term.

1966--Winthrop Rockefeller became the first Republican Governor elected since Reconstruction days.

1986--Arkansas celebrated its Sesquicentennial. On June 15, 150 years had passed since Arkansas became a state.

1992--Governor William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton is elected President of the United States.