Illinois . . . State 21

The Illinois flag has a white background, and the Illinois state seal is in the center. There is a bald eagle perched on a rock holding a red, white, and blue shield in its talons . The shield has 13 stripes and 13 stars, representing the original 13 colonies of the USA. The eagle is holding a banner in its beak which reads "STATE," "SOVEREIGNTY," "NATIONAL," and "UNION." The word sovereignty is upside down. The rock has the dates 1818 and 1868 written on it; 1818 refers to the year Illinois became a state and 1868 refers to the date the state seal was redesigned.

Illinois was the 21st state in the USA and became a state on December 3, 1818. Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln because Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S Pres was raised in Illinois. The capital city is Springfield and largest city is Chicago. Illinois lies in the mid-western heart of the United States. Illinois is bordered on the north by Wisconsin and to the west the Mississippi River flows which separates it from Iowa and Missouri. To the south lies Ohio River which forms a boundary with Kentucky and to the east is Indiana and the Wabash River which forms part of the boundary. At the northern edge of the state is Lake Michigan which stretches 63 miles.

The majority of Illinois consists of gradually sloping hills, prairies and shallow river valleys. The fertile prairies are drained by more than 275 rivers. Most of them flow to the Mississippi-Ohio system. The waterways are a big part of a transportation system along with the railroads system and O’Hare airport, which is the 2nd largest in the nation.

Illinois is known as being a a major trading, banking and insurance center. The Board of Trade in Chicago is the nation's oldest and largest commodity futures exchange. Chicago also has the Chicago Midwest Stock Exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and a Federal Reserve Bank.

Illinois has four distinct seasons. Illinois has an state average of 220 sunny days each year and 50 foggy days. Summers are usually warm, humid and wet and winters are cold, windy with snowfall. Average annual snowfall varies from near 30 inches in Northern Illinois to about 10 inches in Southern Illinois. The wettest seasons are typically spring and summer, with about four inches of precipitation.

Illinois has 102 Counties:
Adams Alexander Bond Boone Brown Bureau Calhoun Carroll Cass Champaign Christian Clark Clay Clinton Coles Cook Crawford Cumberland DeKalb De Witt Douglas DuPage Edgar Edwards Effingham Fayette Ford Franklin Fulton Gallatin Greene Grundy Hamilton Hancock Hardin Henderson Henry Iroquois Jackson Jasper Jefferson Jersey Jo Daviess Johnson Kane Kankakee Kendall Knox Lake La Salle Lawrence Lee Livingston Logan McDonough McHenry McLean Macon Macoupin Madison Marion Marshall County Mason Massac Menard Mercer Monroe Montgomery Morgan Moultrie Ogle Peoria Perry Piatt Pike Pope Pulaski Putnam Randolph Richland Rock Island St. Clair Saline Sangamon Schuyler Scott Shelby Stark Stephenson Tazewell Union Vermilion Wabash Warren Washington Wayne White Whiteside Will Williamson Winnebago Woodford

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