The Origin and Meaning of the
The American citizens who live in, or who come from Kansas,
are referred to as Kansans. The history, origin and meaning of each of the state's nicknames are
The official nickname Sunflower refers to the high yield of
sunflowers produced in the region. The sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
is an annual plant native to the Americas and is used in Sunflower
oil, for cattle feed and its stems contain a fibre which is used in
paper production. Sunflower seeds are also enjoyed as a healthy,
tasty snack and a nutritious ingredient to many other foods.
The reference to Bleeding Kansas is also echoed in another nickname
"The Battleground of Freedom". These are harsh reminders of its
bloody history in the American Civil War when the territory became a
battleground for pro-slavery and anti-slavery activists.
Kansas is subject to the natural weather phenomena referred to as
cyclones, tornados or twisters. Cyclones are characterized by inward
violently spiraling winds that are in contact with the ground.
The Wheat State is another high yielding cash crop grown in
Kansas. Wheat is a cereal grain used in products such as cereals,
cakes, bread and cookies. Wheat is also utilized in these other
products such as wood, paper, adhesives, cosmetics and
The Jayhawk name alludes to the Jayhawkers, a term that came to
prominence just before the American Civil War where it was used as
the name of by militant bands of guerrilla fighters affiliated with
the free-state cause. The "Jayhawkers" clashed with pro-slavery
groups from Missouri called the "Border Ruffians". Bands of
Jayhawkers crossed the border to steal back slaves for their
freedom. Following the American Civil War, the word "Jayhawk" became
synonymous with the people of Kansas.
Salt of the
The phrase 'the salt of the earth' derives from the Bible, Matthew
5:13. in reference to very good or worthy people. Salt lies
underneath many parts of Kansas and the salt mines and industry
dates back to the late 1800's.