The Kansas Sunflower

Kansas celebrated her 150th birthday as a state in January. Today, we celebrate the birthday of our State Flower, THE SUNFLOWER. (Photos of World's Largest Sunflower Collection, Lenexa, Kansas. +3500 items. Click on photos to enlarge.)
It was on March 12, 1903 that Governor Bailey proclaimed the sunflower as our state flower. We just barely beat Nebraska to naming it their flower. WE GOT IT!! And since we got it, we got the absolute very best State Flower of them all.
Go to New York's Madison Square Garden (which is round) and ask the first 100 children that you see to draw a sunflower. They will.
Now ask the next 100 people you see: "Which state is the Sunflower State?" and they will answer "Kansas". See? Everyone knows the sunflower. We got the best, most artistic, most recognizable flower of them all............By the way, can you tell me the state flower of Nebraska?.......................No, it isn't Cornhusker. It is Late Goldenrod.

Can you draw a Late Goldenrod?

An Early Goldenrod?

We got the deal!

As great as it is that we have the best flower of all, it did not come quickly. As early as 1880 a newspaper editor named Noble Printis, suggested that Kansas claim the Sunflower. He wrote in the Atchison Champion that, "The Sunflower ought to be made the emblem of our state. Nothing checks it or kills it. It is always 'happy as a big sunflower'. Grasshoppers have never held the edge on it; and in droughty times when everything else wilts and throws up its hands, the sunflower continues business at the old stand. It probably has some private arrangement with nature for securing 'aid'."

Thank you, Noble Printis. Thank you, Governor Bailey. Happy Birthday, Helianthus Annus.