The Hawkeye State is a nickname for the state of Iowa. According to the state's tourism web site, "Two Iowa promoters from Burlington are believed to have popularized the name." The nickname was given approval by "territorial officials" in 1838, eight years before Iowa became a state.
The men responsible for the promotion of this nickname are thought to be Judge David Rorer of Burlington and newspaper publisher James G. Edwards. The city of Burlington had been established in 1833 after the previous year's Black Hawk War. Edwards changed the name of his Burlington newspaper, The Iowa Patriot, to The Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot in tribute to friend Chief Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. Edwards proposed the nickname "Hawk-eyes" in 1838 to "...rescue from oblivian [sic] a momento [sic], at least of the name of the old chief", Black Hawk. The University of Iowa's athletic teams are nicknamed the Hawkeyes and feature a mascot named Herky the Hawk.
- "State Symbols: Iowa Tourism Map, Travel Guide, Things to Do: Travel Iowa". Iowa Economic Development. Retrieved 2013-10-12.