As with many states, Kansas has a few monikers that it goes by, known for the many things that it has been famous for throughout the years. Notably, the "Sunflower State" is the name that stuck out the most and is officially considered as part of their culture. Kansas has native wild sunflowers growing throughout the vast agricultural landscape and officially declared that the sunflower was the state's official flower in 1903.
A more unofficial and infamous name for Kansas is called the "Jayhawker", which has an interesting connotation that has left historians baffled as to its origin. One speculation is that the name derives from irregular troops that were caught between opposing sides of the Civil War. They used this opportunity to perform banditry and pillage the outlying towns for food and supplies (on both sides). Another argument is that the term comes from a Free-State Irishman by the name of Patrick Devlin who came to his local town in Kansas filled to the brim with foraged (Jayhawked) goods.
The state itself was named after the Kansas River, which is a large body of water flowing directly through the entire state. The river itself was named after a local American tribe called the "Kansa". Other Native American tribes were also populating the area, mostly the Sioux Kaw and the Caddoan Wichita people. Wichita is also the largest city in Kansas, making people believe that this is the state's capital. The state capital of Kansas is Topeka, which is another tribe.
Kansas was an important land dating back to the 15th century, as the Wichita tribe settled there in 1450 and abandoned it after the European landing in the early 18th century. French fur trappers would develop relationships with the locals, and the area became a cultural hub. In 1803, the American government annexed Kansas through the Louisiana Purchase, where 828,000 square miles were bought for $15 million.
The river and the large body of water keep Kansas an agricultural haven, where many come to delight in its beautiful scenery and its agrarian lifestyle.
Kansas is filled with entrepreneurs, especially dominating the fast food scene throughout the years. The famous restaurant White Castle, which was featured in many pop-culture films in the early 21st century, was born in this state. The world's largest pizza joint franchise, Pizza Hut, was started in Kansas as well. Kansas also has some local favorites that it keeps a secret from prying eyes, such as Taco Tico and Big Cheese Pizza.
While Kansas is known for its fast food, it can also bring the heat in terms of satisfying meals. Kansas is extremely well-known for its unique barbecue methods, and unusual food pairings. Locals relish their favorite combinations, such as cheeseburgers made with peanut butter & jelly, a mayonnaise-banana sandwich, and eating their cinnamon buns with a side of chili peppers. Many believe this is a combination of American, French and Latin cuisine.