Tennessee State Facts, Figures and Lore
The state flag was officially adopted on April 17, 1905. It was designed by Captain LeRoy Reeves of the Third Regiment, Tennessee Infantry. He described his design as follows:
The three stars are of pure white, representing the three grand divisions of the state. They are bound together by the endless circle of the blue field the symbol being bound together in one – an indissoluble trinity. The large field is crimson. The final blue bar relieves the sameness of the crimson field and prevents the flag from showing too much creation when hanging limp. The white edgings contrast more strongly the other colors.
The Roman numerals XVI signify that Tennessee was the 16th state to enter the Union. The plow, the sheaf of wheat and a cotton stalk symbolize the importance of agriculture, while the riverboat attests to the importance of river traffic to commerce. This was adopted as the official state seal in 1987.
Origin of state name:
Tansi, or Tennessee, was a Cherokee town name that later became the name of the region. It translates to mean "the meeting place."
Largest City: Memphis
Slogan: “Tennessee – America at its best.” (1965)
Motto: “Agriculture and Commerce” (1987)
Nickname: “The Volunteer State”
Area: 42,146 square miles (length: 491 miles, width: 115 miles)
Geographic Center: 5 miles Northeast of Murfreesboro in Rutherford County (Longitude: 86° 37.3'W, Latitude: 35° 47.7'N)
Highest Point: Clingman’s Dome, 6,643 ft., Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Lowest Point: Mississippi Bottoms, 178 ft. above sea level, near the Mississippi River
Major Rivers: Tennessee, Mississippi, Cumberland, Clinch, Duck
Major Lakes: Kentucky, Norris, Chickamauga, Cherokee, Tims Ford Reservoir
County Profile: 95 counties
Population: 6,038,803 (16th largest state)
Bordering States: Eight total – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia (Tennessee has more bordering states than any other state in the country.)
Cultivated flower: Iris
Tree: Tulip Poplar