Official Symbols of Kansas

By Polly Ferrell on January 25, 2019

Two of our most precious commodities, Sunshine and Wheat, have not made the list of official Kansas symbols, yet we are known for both. Can you name the thirteen official symbols of Kansas? The first one specified by the 1861 Kansas legislature and designed by John J. Ingalls is the Great Seal of Statehood. Our agricultural heritage is depicted with many bison, a settler’s cabin and a man behind the plow. The rising sun, wagons heading west, a cluster of 34 stars and our motto “Ad Astra per Aspera” tell the story of statehood and perseverance. Forty-two years later, in 1903, the Wild Native Sunflower became our second symbol. Widely recognized as belonging to Kansas, it was not indigenous to our state, but seeds hitched a ride on the freight wagon wheels from the southwest to Kansas on the Santa Fe Trail. The flag was adopted in 1927, the Western Meadowlark and the Cottonwood Tree in 1937, in 1947 the state song, Home on the Range was added and the American Buffalo followed in 1955. Much later in the 1900’s, the Honeybee, Ornate Box Turtle, Harney Silt Loam soil and the Barred Tiger Salamander were made official.. Two more making the list in the 21st century are English, as our official language and Little Bluestem Grass which grows in all 105 Kansas counties. Please join us on Friday, Feb 1, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room to celebrate our Kansas heritage.