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Kansas State Symbols


Welcome to the Sunflower State? You can’t wade through Kansas’ numerous nicknames without scratching your head. Are those monikers depressing, scary, or exciting? (Continued below)

Kansas State Flag
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames Sunflower State, Cyclone State, Grasshopper State, Bleeding Kansas, Jayhawk State, Jayhawker State, Wheat State, Garden State, Garden of the West
Symbols of State
Motto Ad Astra per Aspera
Song Home on the Range 1947
Flower native sunflower (Helianthus annuus) 1903
Tree cottonwood (Populus deltoides) 1937
Grass little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) 2010
Fruit sandhill plum (Prunus angustifolia) 2022
Red Wine Grape Chambourcin (Vitis vinifera) 2022
White Wine Grape Vignoles (Vitis vinifera) 2022
Bird western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) 1937
Animal bison (Bison bison) 1955
Reptile ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata) 1986
Amphibian barred tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) 1994
Fish channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) 2018
Insect honeybee (Apis mellifera) Redundant Symbol 1976
Mineral galena 2018
Gem jelinite 2018
Rock limestone 2018
Flying Fossil † Pteranodon 2014
Marine Fossil † Tylosaurus 2014
Land Fossil † Silvisaurus condrayi 2023
Soil Harney Silt Loam 1990
Cultural Symbols
Firefighter’s Museum Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial 2007
March Here’s Kansas 1992
March The Kansas March 1935
Theater Jayhawk Theater
Language English Redundant Symbol 2007

Well, there’s no need to be scared, because the Civil War, locust plagues, and Dust Bowl are behind us. Of course, our generation has to deal with climate change, which means there could be more dangerous weather ahead.

However, we can always take heart in Kansas’ official tourist tagline, “To the Stars.” And who isn’t cheered up by Kansas’ state flower, the bold sunflower?

Brown and yellow have been described as Kansas’ unofficial colors. They are shared by the sunflower, the state bird (meadowlark), reptile (box turtle), and amphibian (tiger salamander).

Between its familiar state song (“Home on the Range”), three state fossils, and that magical movie Wizard of Oz, Kansas’ symbols won’t let you sit still.

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If you think state flags and flowers are nothing more than trivia, guess again. A thorough exploration of the more than 1,500 items adopted as state symbols embraces geography, history, and psychology.

You have found the best state symbols website, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The introduction above is adapted from Geobop’s State Symbols and My State Symbols Book, by far the biggest and most detailed state symbols references ever. You can learn still more about the symbols of the 50 states in the books Flag Quest and Grading the States. (Learn more about them here.)

After you spend some time exploring your favorite state’s symbols, you can come back here and tell us what you think about them.

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