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The Seal

Armed Forces

The Indian Tribes of Kansas

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The State of Kansas is named after the indian tribe of the Kansa which claimed that it had occupied the territory in 1673


In 1541, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, visited Kansas. Near the Great Bend of the Arkansas River, in a place he called Quivira, he met the ancestors of the Wichita people. Near the Smoky Hill River, he met the Harahey, who were probably the ancestors of the Pawnee.

The Kansa (sometimes Kaw) and Osage Nation (originally Ouasash) arrived in Kansas in the 17th century. By the end of the 18th century, these two tribes were dominant in the eastern part of the future state: the Kansa on the Kansas River to the North and the Osage on the Arkansas River to the South. At the same time, the Pawnee (sometimes Paneassa) were dominant on the plains to the west and north of the Kansa and Osage nations, in regions home to massive herds of bison. The French commander at Fort Orleans, Etienne de Bourgmont, visited the Kansas River in 1724 and established a trading post there, near the main Kansa village at the mouth of the river. Around the same time, the Otoe tribe of the Sioux also inhabited various areas around the northeast corner of Kansas.

In the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the United States (US) acquired all of the French claims west of the Mississippi River; the area of Kansas was unorganized territory.

After a brief period as part of Missouri Territory, Kansas returned to unorganized status in 1821.


Despite the extensive plans that were made to settle Native Americans in Kansas, by 1850 white Americans were illegally squatting on their land and clamoring for the entire area to be opened for settlement. Several U.S. Army forts, including Fort Riley, were soon established deep in Indian Territory to guard travelers on the various Western trails.

Congress began the process of creating Kansas Territory in 1852. That year, petitions were presented at the first session of the Thirty-second Congress for a territorial organization of the region lying west of Missouri and Iowa. No action was at that time taken. However, during the next session, on December 13, 1852, a Representative from Missouri submitted to the House a bill organizing the Territory of Platte: all the tract lying west of Iowa and Missouri, and extending west to the Rocky Mountains. The bill was referred to the United States House Committee on Territories, and passed by the full U.S. House of Representatives on February 10, 1853. Heated debate over the bill and other competing proposals would continue for a year, before eventually resulting in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which became law on May 30, 1854, establishing the Nebraska Territory and Kansas Territory.


In the three months immediately preceding the passage of the bill, treaties were quietly made at Washington with the Delaware, Otoe, Kickapoo, Kaskaskia, Shawnee, Sac, Fox and other tribes, whereby the greater part of eastern Kansas, lying within one or two hundred miles of the Missouri border, was suddenly opened to white settlement. (The Kansa reservation had already been reduced by treaty in 1846.) On March 15, 1854, Otoe and Missouri Indians ceded to the United States all their lands west of the Mississippi, except a small strip on the Big Blue River. On May 6 and May 10, 1854, the Shawnees ceded 25,000 km2, reserving only 810 km2 for homes. Also on May 6, 1854, the Delaware ceded all their lands to the United States, except a reservation defined in the treaty. On May 17, the Iowa similarly ceded their lands, retaining only a small reservation. On May 18, 1854, the Kickapoo too ceded their lands, except 610 km2 in the western part of the Territory. In 1854 lands were also ceded by the Kaskaskia, Peoria, Piankeshaw and Wea and by the Sac and Fox.

The final step in Americanizing the Indians was taking land from tribal control and assigning it to individual Indian households, to buy and sell as European Americans would. For example, in 1854, the Chippewa (Swan Creek and Black River bands) inhabited 33.7 km2 in Franklin County, but in 1859 the tract was transferred to individual Chippewa families.

After a period of unrest and civil war Kansas became the 34th state of the Union on 29 January 1861.


Ć History of Kansas




The seal of the Territory of Kansas after the Kansas-Nebraska Act, of 30 May, 1854 was:



Encircling the border of the two-inch brass die is the text, “SEAL OF THE TERRITORY OF KANSAS / ERECTED MAY 30, 1854.”

On the field is the achievement of the Territory:


Arms: A hunter stalking a buffalo and on a chief a plow.

Supporters: Dexter: Ceres (the goddess of agriculture) who stands next to a sheaf of grain and Sinister a pioneer holding a rifle and hatchet.

Compartment: a fallen tree and the axe that felled it.

Motto: POPULI VOCE NATA (“Born by the voice of the people” or “Born of the popular will.”) on a banner in chief.


The motto speaks directly to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, creating the territory and establishing popular sovereignty


* The territorial seal remained in the custody of the Kansas Secretary of State's office for well over a century. It was transferred to the Kansas Museum of History in a public ceremony during the 1999 legislative session.



Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of Kansas provides that:


9. State seal and commissions. There shall be a seal of the state, which shall be kept by the governor, and used by him officially, and which shall be the great seal of Kansas. All commissions shall be issued in the name of the state of Kansas; and shall be signed by the governor, countersigned by the secretary of state, and sealed with the great seal.      


The First Session of the Kansas Legislature on 25 May 1861 provided for the creation of the Great Seal, described as follows: “The East is represented by a rising sun, in the right hand corner of the seal; to the left of it, Commerce is represented by a river and a steamboat; in the foreground, agriculture is represented as the basis of the future prosperity of the state, by a settler's cabin and a man plowing with a pair of horses; beyond this is a train of ox-wagons, going west; in the background is seen a herd of buffalo, retreating, pursued by two indians on horseback; around the top is the motto: “Ad astra per aspera,” beneath a cluster of thirty-four stars. The circle is surrounded by the words: “Great Seal of the State of Kansas. January 29, 1861.”


The motto means: By Effort to the Stars.


Ć See illustration in the head of this essay


On the flag, adopted 1963 the seal is in full color and crested by a sunflower on a blue and yellow wreath.


Armed Forces


The armed forces of Kansas State are organised in the Kansas State Area Command. Its insignia are:


Heraldry Image - Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia


On a blue disc 2 1/2 inches (6.35 cm) in diameter a sunflower proper (yellow petals, brown center).


The sunflower is the State flower.


The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Kansas National Guard on 22 October 1951.  It was redesignated for all nondivisional units of the Kansas National Guard on 13 June 1956.  The insignia was redesignated for Headquarters, State Area Command, Kansas Army National Guard on 30 December 1983.  (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-160)


Heraldry Image - Distinctive Unit Insignia

Distinctive Unit Insignia


A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 inch (2.54 cm) in height consisting of a shield blazoned as follows:  Per pairle Argent, Gules and Azure, the crest for the Army National Guard of the State of Kansas Proper.


The sunflower is the State flower.  As the territory of the State was originally a portion of the Louisiana Purchase, the twists of the wreath are yellow and blue.


The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for State Staff Corps and Departments, Kansas Army National Guard on 10 January 1930.  It was redesignated for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and noncolor bearing units of the Kansas Army National Guard on 30 January 1969.  The insignia was redesignated for Headquarters, State Area Command, Kansas Army National Guard, effective 1 October 1982.


Heraldry Image - Crest



That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Kansas Army National Guard:  From a wreath of colors, a sunflower slipped Proper.


The sunflower is the State flower.


The crest was approved for the color bearing organizations of the State of Kansas on 6 March 1922


Indian Tribes of Kansas


Beginning in the 1820s, the area that would become Kansas was set aside as Indian territory by the U.S. government, and was closed to settlement by whites. The government resettled to Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma) those Native American tribes based in eastern Kansas, principally the Kansa and Osage, opening land to move eastern tribes into the area. By treaty dated June 3, 1825, 81000 km˛ of land was ceded by the Kansa Nation to the United States, and the Kansa tribe was limited to a specific reservation in northeast Kansas. In the same month, the Osage Nation was limited to a reservation in southeast Kansas.

The Missouri Shawanoe (or Shawnee) were the first Native Americans to be removed to the territory. By treaty made at St. Louis on November 7, 1825, the United States agreed to provide:

"the Shawanoe tribe of Indians within the State of Missouri, for themselves, and for those of the same nation now residing in Ohio who may hereafter immigrate to the west of the Mississippi, a tract of land equal to fifty miles square, situated west of the State of Missouri, and within the purchase lately made from the Osage.”

The Delaware came to Kansas from Ohio and other eastern areas by the treaty of September 24, 1829. The treaty described:

the country in the fork of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, extending up the Kansas River to the Kansas (Indian's) line, and up the Missouri River to Camp Leavenworth, and thence by a line drawn westerly, leaving a space ten miles wide, north of the Kansas boundary line, for an outlet.”

After this point, the Indian Removal Act of 1830 expedited the process. By treaty dated August 30, 1831, the Odawa ceded land to the United States and moved to a small reservation on the Kansas River and its branches. The treaty was ratified April 6, 1832. On October 24, 1832, the U.S. government moved the Kickapoos to a reservation in Kansas. On October 29, 1832, the Piankeshaw and Wea agreed to occupy 250 sections of land, bounded on the north by the Shawanoe; east by the western boundary line of Missouri; and west by the Kaskaskia and Peoria peoples. By treaty made with the United States on September 21, 1833, the Otoe tribe ceded their country south of the Little Nemaha River.

By September 17, 1836 the confederacy of the Sac and Fox, by treaty with the United States, moved north of Kickapoo. By treaty of February 11, 1837, the United States agreed to convey to the Pottawatomi an area on the Osage River, southwest of the Missouri River.

In 1842, after a treaty between the United States and the Wyandots, the Wyandot moved to the junction of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers (on land that was shared with the Delaware until 1843). In an unusual provision, 35 Wyandot were given "floats" in the 1842 treaty – ownership of sections of land that could be located anywhere west of the Missouri River. In 1847, the Pottawatomi were moved again, to an area containing 2,330 km˛, being the eastern part of the lands ceded to the United States by the Kansa tribe in 1846.


Ć History of Kansas


Most of the Indian Tribes residing nowadays in Kansas have a flag and a seal. It is not known when these flags and seals were adopted but some time shortly after WWII may be probable.

Surfing on internet results in the following seals but any explanation is never given:









Osage Nation
















Prairie Band Pottowatomi

Sac and Fox



















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© Hubert de Vries 2012-09-06


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