Spelling the name of this state out loud is a catchy way to remember it, and a way to make sure you spell it correctly. The name "Mississippi" comes from an Indian word meaning "great waters" or "father of waters." Mississippi entered the Union as the 20th state on December 10, 1817. Considered part of the Deep South, Mississippi, with its rich soil and many rivers, is an agricultural state. Mississippi state flower is the fragrant magnolia blossom, and the capital is Jackson.