State of Kansas

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Named for the Kansa (or Kaw) Indians, the "people of the south wind." NICKNAME: The Sunflower State; also, the Jayhawker State. CAPITAL: Topeka. ENTERED UNION: 29 January 1861 (34th). SONG: "Home on the Range." MARCH: "The Kansas March." MOTTO: Ad astra per aspera (To the stars through difficulties). FLAG: The flag consists of a dark blue field with the state seal in the center; a sunflower on a bar of twisted gold and blue is above the seal, the word "Kansas" is below it. OFFICIAL SEAL: A sun rising over mountains in the background symbolizes the east; commerce is represented by a river and a steamboat. In the foreground, agriculture, the basis of the state's prosperity, is represented by a settler's cabin and a man plowing a field; beyond this is a wagon train heading west and a herd of buffalo fleeing from two Indians. Around the top is the state motto above a cluster of 34 stars; the circle is surrounded by the words "Great Seal of the State of Kansas, January 29, 1861." ANIMAL: American buffalo. BIRD: Western meadowlark. INSECT: Honeybee. REPTILE: Ornate box turtle. FLOWER: Wild native sunflower . TREE: Cottonwood. LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, 12 February; Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December. TIME: 6 AM CST = noon GMT; 5 AM MST = noon GMT.


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