Kansas is often called the Sunflower State. This nickname is due to the large number of sunflowers that grow in Kansas.
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The Origin of the Nickname
There are a few stories about how Kansas got the nickname “The Sunflower State.” One story says that the nickname came from a journalist who was travelling through Kansas in the 1870s. He said that the ground was so covered in sunflowers, it looked like one big sunflower field. Another story says that the nickname came from a contest held in 1901. The contest was to find a new state flower, and sunflowers were chosen as the winner. The most likely story is that the nickname came from a group of Kansas women who wore sunflowers in their hats to promote their state at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. No matter which story is true, Kansas has been known as “The Sunflower State” ever since.
The Meaning of the Nickname
The nickname for Kansas is “The Sunflower State.” This nickname was given to Kansas because of the large number of sunflowers that grow in the state. The sunflower is also the state flower of Kansas.
How the Nickname Came to Be
The nickname for Kansas is “The Sunshine State.” The nickname for Kansas was first given to the state by journalist John A. Dix in an editorial he wrote for the New York Sun on January 29, 1870. The editorial was entitled “Sunshine in Kansas.”
The Significance of the Nickname
Kansas is known by several nicknames, the most popular of which is “The Sunflower State.” The sunflower is such an integral part of Kansas culture that it is even featured on the state’s official seal. Other nicknames for Kansas include “The Wheat State” and “The Jayhawk State.”
The nickname “The Sunflower State” was first coined in 1861 by Margaret Lee Runbeck. It is believed that Ms. Runbeck was inspired by a line from John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem, “In Memory of the Massachusetts Bay Colony:”
“…for under thy quiet skiesThy fields with smiling wheat arise,And waving corn and valleys green,And sunflower-blossoms drowsily lean…”
Over time, the sunflower became increasingly associated with Kansas. In 1903, the Kansas legislature officially adopted the sunflower as the state flower. In 1955, “The Sunflower State” was officially adopted as Kansas’ nickname by the legislature.
The nickname “The Wheat State” is a reference to Kansas’ agriculture industry. Kansas is one of the top wheat producing states in the United States, ranking third in overall wheat production. The majority of Kansas’ wheat crop is hard red winter wheat, which is used to make bread flour.Hard red winter wheat was first introduced to Kansas in 1854 by Mennonite immigrants from Russia.
The nickname “The Jayhawk State” has a disputed origin. One theory suggests that the nickname comes from a group of vigilantes known as the Jayhawkers who operated in Kansas during the territorial days. These vigilante groups would raid pro-slavery communities in Missouri and bring back any slaves they found to freedom in Kansas. Another theory suggests that the nickname comes from a blend of two birds native to Kansas: the blue jay and the sparrow hawk.