The Oklahoma state flag honors more than 60 groups of Native Americans and their ancestors. The Oklahoma State Flag was first adopted in 1911, modeled after the red, white and blue of the Stars and Stripes. It displayed a white star edged in blue, centered on a field of red. Inside this star was the number "46", referencing Oklahoma as the 46th state to enter the Union in 1907. The first Oklahoma State Flag flew from 1911 to 1925.
In 1924, a contest was announced to create a new design for the Oklahoma State Flag, when the Red flag and single white star began to be too closely associated with symbols of Communism. The redesigned flag was called to be one that represented the diversity of cultures in the state of Oklahoma and to represent the state with the largest Native American population. On April 2, 1925, the design submitted by Mrs. George Fluke, Jr. was chosen and officially adopted by the Oklahoma State Legislature.
The 1925 Oklahoma flag prominently displays an Osage warrior's shield made from buffalo hide and decorated with seven eagle feathers hanging from the lower edge. The shield is centered on a field of blue, borrowed from the blue flag that Choctaw soldiers carried during the Civil War.
The Oklahoma State Flag design was revisited in 1941. The state name "OKLAHOMA" was amended to the 1925 design and displayed in white letters below the shield. The shield is decorated with six white crosses (stars) representing high ideals. Superimposed over the shield are symbols of peace and unity from the cultures of the Native American and European-American settlers in the territory – a ceremonial peace pipe and the olive branch. In 1988, the Oklahoma State Legislature addressed the design of the state flag when variations in color among manufacturers did not properly align with the spirit of the design, and the 41st Oklahoma Legislature voted to rectify this.
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