Oklahoma State Flag History

Nov 13th, 2016

Oklahoma was the 46th state admitted to the Union on November 16, 1907. It adopted an official state flag in 1911. The flag had a red field featuring a white star outlined in blue in the center and the number 46 inside the star.

 

Oklahoma 1911

 

In 1924, because red flags were associated with communism and was not a good representation of state heritage, the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR, held a statewide contest for a new flag design. Louise Fluke won the contest and it was officially adopted in 1925. The flag had a blue field and featured a rawhide American Indian Warrior shield in the center. The shield contained six painted crosses, was crisscrossed by an olive branch and a peace pipe, and fringed with seven hanging eagle feathers.

 

Oklahoma 1925

 

The meanings attached to the design are said to be the following:

 

·         Blue Field: Devotion

·         Shield: Defensive Warfare

·         Peace Pipe and Olive Branch: The united people’s love of peace

 

In 1941, the state flag code was changed to add the word Oklahoma to the flag. The code did not specific an exact design or specific colors. This resulted in many variations of the flag being displayed by the state government and on historical and educational websites. This problem was brought to the attention of a state representative by an Oklahoma Boy Scout leader and, as a result, legislation was passed in 2006 to standardize colors and shapes.

 

Oklahoma

 

The original hand painted flag designed by Louise Fluke in 1924 is preserved by the DAR. Oklahoma State Society. The war shield and peace pipe that Fluke used as models for the flag are housed at the State Capital Historical Museum.

 

In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association conducted a survey of flags that included Canadian provinces and American states and territories. The Oklahoma state flag was rated 39th out of 72 flags.

 

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