Before the first white explorers entered Nevada, the region was inhabited by the Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe tribes. The first European to come to the area is thought to have been Spanish priest Francisco Garces in 1776. The area formed part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain and was called Nevada (snowy) due to the snow which covered the mountains in winter. The state became part of Mexico when it gained independence in 1821. In 1826 Peter Skene Ogden of the British Hudson’s Bay Company came to Nevada in a prelude to his later exploration of the Humboldt River. The same year, American trapper Jedediah Smith began to traverse the state.
The discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859 led to a population boom, and Nevada Territory was carved out of Utah Territory in 1861. It became the 36th state three years later, on October 31, 1864.
Today, much of the state’s economy is tied to tourism. Whether it’s enjoying a concert in Las Vegas, visiting one of the many ghost towns, such as Rhyolite, Gold Point, or Treasure City; or sailing on Lake Tahoe; Nevada is a playground for visitors.
You can ski in the winter at Mount Charleston, go climbing at Red Rock Canyon, golf at hundreds of courses, enjoy 24 state parks and 314 mountain ranges, and gamble pretty much anywhere, if that’s your fancy.
Welcome to the Silver State!
Nevada State Flag – On a cobalt blue field, a variant of the state’s emblem sits in the upper left-hand corner. The emblem is a five-pointed silver star placed between two sprays of sagebrush crossed to form a half wreath; across the top of the wreath is a golden scroll with the words, in black letters, “Battle Born.” The name “Nevada” is beneath the star in gold letters. The current Nevada State Flag design was adopted on March 26, 1929, and revised in 1991.