Kansas, like other states, recognizes a number of symbols that represent its customs, cultures, and environment. Because Kansas is one of the major wheat production states, it is often referred to as the “Wheat State.” Other symbols, including the buffalo, cottonwood tree, honeybee, Western meadowlark, salamander, sunflower, and box turtle, little blue stem, and Harney loam silt are officially designated as state symbols.
Symbols become official through the legislative process. In 1861 the Kansas Legislature adopted the state seal. In 1986 when the state was celebrating its 125th birthday, a sixth grade class in Caldwell, Kansas, nominated the ornate box turtle to be the state reptile, which started the legislative process.
1861 - State Seal
1903 - State Flower: Wild Native Sunflower
1925 - State Banner
1927 - State Flag
1935 - State March: "The Kansas March"
1937 - State Bird: Western Meadowlark
1937 - State Tree: Cottonwood Tree
1947 - State Song: "Home on the Range"
1955 - State Animal: American Buffalo
1976 - State Insect: Honeybee
1986 - State Reptile: Ornate Box Turtle
1990 - State Soil: Harney Loam Silt
1992 - State March: "Here's Kansas"
1994 - State Amphibian: Barred Tiger Salamander
2010 - State Grass: Little Bluestem
2014 - State Fossils: Tylosaurus and Pteranodon
Entry: Kansas Symbols
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: July 2011
Date Modified: April 2014
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.