The official Oklahoma state flag has a blue field with a traditional Osage-Nation Buffalo shield at the center. The buffalo skin logo has an olive branch and a ceremonial pipe plus seven eagle flags on the lower part of the shield. The blue color of the flag represents devotion, and it was inspired by the Choctaw tribe flag which they adopted in 1860 and carried during the American civil war. The shield represents defensive warfare while the pipe represents the Choctaw community living in the state while the branch represents the European community in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has had two original flag designs since 1911 when it became the 46th state to join the United States. The 1st flag was abolished in 1925 when the current design was adopted.
Why Was Their First Flag Abolished?
Oklahoma adopted their first flag in 1911 after becoming the 46th state to join the United States. The flag was had a red field with a blue-edged white star in the middle and number ’’46’’ in the middle. The state used this flag up to 1924 when they changed it because after the Russian revolution of 1917 the color red had become associated with communism. Therefore, most countries and states with red colored flags changed their flags.
Who Designed the Current Oklahoma State Flag?
The current flag of Oklahoma was adopted in 1925 after the Daughters of American Revolution sponsored a contest for a new flag. The flag design competition was held in 1924, and the state was looking for a design which would represent a diversity of different cultures. Louise Fluke submitted the winning flag-design which was adopted by the State. Her design represented the peaceful coexistence between the European Americans and the Native Americans who lived in the State.
Design Changes to the Oklahoma Flag
The original flag designed by Louise was used until 1941 when the state added the name of the state below the Osage shield to help combat extensive illiteracy. Since then, numerous unauthorized flag designs have become widespread in the State. These flags display wrongly shaped crosses, colors, stylized feathers, or a combination of all these errors. These unauthorized designs were so used that the original flag of Oklahoma design was lost. In fact, some official historical and educational websites were displaying the wrong flag design.
Standardization of the Flag
In 2005, a Boy Scout leader from Oklahoma who was designing patches for their national Jamboree group noticed that there are numerous unofficial flag designs displayed on different official government websites. He continued his research and discovered the original flag design by Louise Fluke, and then contacted state representatives about the issue. His research propelled the the standardization of the shapes and colors of the Oklahoma flag through the signing of the Oklahoma Senate Bill 1359 by Governor Henry on May 23, 2006. The new law took effect on November 1, 2006, plus the legislature officially authorized the new license plate honoring the Oklahoma state flag.
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