The Kansas Jayhawk is a mythical bird whose origin is rooted with the impassioned people who made Kansas a Free State. The term “Jayhawk” was coined about 1848 as a patriotic symbol representing those who fought against slavery. Lawrence, where KU was founded in 1865, was a Free State stronghold during the Civil War. Kansas Governor Charles Robinson raised a regiment called the Independent Mounted Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawk name combines two birds – the Blue Jay and the Sparrow Hawk, two stealthy strong birds. In 1886 KU’s Jayhawk premiered in a cheer, the famous Rock Chalk Chant. In 1912 the hawks first stylized appearance made its debut. Since then the Jayhawk has transformed seven times to its present day famous and powerful image of the “Happy Jayhawk” created by Hal Sandy. The Kansas Jayhawk represents freedom with a resilient winning spirit to fly free!