The official state bird of Kansas is the Meadowlark. It was offically selected as the state bird on January 29, 1925 after being the number one choice of 121,191 Kansas school children who got to vote to select the state's offical bird. The election was conducted by Miss Madeleine Aaron who was the secretary of the Kansas Audubon Society.
The top vote getters were:
- Western Meadowlark...48,395 votes
- Bob White...38,544 votes
- Cardinal...19,863 votes
The official state flower of Kansas is the Sunflower. There are some fifty two different varieties of sunflowers that are native to North America and wild sunflowers are common in all parts of Kansas so much so that people had recognized Kansas as the Sunflower State even before it was selected as the State's official flower by the Kansas Legislature in 1903. While some wild sunflowers are actually categorized as a noxious weed, giant sunflowers are cultivated and grown as an agricultural product and Kansas is one of the top producing states for sunflowers and sunflower byproducts.
To learn more about sunflowers check out the National Sunflower Association's website.
Sunflower Canvas Prints
Sunflower Greeting Cards
Sunflower Tote Bags
Sunflower Framed Prints
The Kansas State Flag was designed in 1925 but it was not until 1927 that it was offically adopted by the Kansas State Legislature as the offical state flag. The flag is a shade of blue called "azure" which is said to represent the color of the sky. On the flag are the State Seal and a Sunflower. Later in 1961 the word "Kansas" was added below the seal. The flag was first flown in 1927 at Fort Riley by Governor Benjamin S. Paulen. Prior to the flag Kansas used a state banner instead of a flag. The banner was designed to be hung from a horizontal bar rather than being flown as are typical flags. For more information on the Kansas Banner check out the KansaPeadia website.
The Kansas State Seal was adopted by the Kansas Legislature on May 25, 1861. It is based on a heavily modified design submitted by John J. Ingalls who was a state senator from Atchison. He also proposed the state motto, "Ad astra per aspera", which is a latin phrase meaning "To the Stars through Difficulties."
The key elements of the seal are:
- A landscape with a rising sun which represents the east.
- A river and steamboat which represents commerce.
- A settler's cabin and a man plowing a field which respresents agriculture as the basis of the future prosperity of the state.
- A wagon train heading west which represents westard expansion and pioneer life.
- Two indians pursuing a buffalo, symbollic of the native american heritage of Kansas.
- A cluster of thirty-four stars identifying Kansas as the 34th state.
- The state motto "Ad Astra per Aspera".