Arizona State Facts

Recorded by Europeans, the history of Arizona began in 1539 with the first documented explorations of the area by Marcos de Niza and Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. Arizona was part of Mexico until 1848, yet the United States took possession of most of it after the Mexican-American War. The Gadsden Purchase secured the southern part of the state in 1853 and Arizona became a U.S. state on February 14, 1912.
The flag of Arizona consists of 13 rays of red and weld-yellow on the top half, the colors of the flag of Spain, representing the 13 original states. The red and yellow also symbolize Arizona's picturesque sunsets. The copper star represents the copper mining industry in Arizona. The rest of the flag is colored blue, representing liberty.

According to, Arizona is located in the Southwestern United States as one of the Four Corners states. Arizona is the sixth largest state in area, after New Mexico and before Nevada. Of the state's 113,998 square miles (295,000 km2), approximately 15% is privately owned. The remaining area is public forest and park land, state trust land and Native American reservations.

Arizona is best known for its desert landscape, which is rich in xerophyte plants such as the cactus. It is also known for its climate, which presents exceptionally hot summers and mild winters. Less well known is the pine-covered high country of the Colorado Plateau in the north-central portion of the state, which contrasts with the desert Basin and Range region in the southern portions of the state.

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