Our state flag was designed by Mrs. Louise Funk Fluke, an artist from Oklahoma City and adopted in 1925. She was presented the Pioneer Woman Award last April in Ponca City for her work. The flag has withstood efforts to change the design, perhaps because no one has to wonder which state it represents.
Since, explorers first came to the New World, 14 flags, including those of four foreign nations, have flown over the territory that became Oklahoma. Although they sometimes dont realize it, visitors approaching the state Capitol from the south walk by the plaza where these flags, or replicas of them, are flown daily.
According to the Oklahoma Historical Society; the first flag to fly over, Oklahoma was brought to this area by Spanish explorers. The flag, the Royal Standard of Spain, was brought to the Great Plains area that included Oklahoma by Coronado and his followers in 1541. The red-and-white quartered flag has a golden castle on the red and a red lion on the white. The castle and lion represented royal houses Castile and Leon, from which the King of Spain descended.
The second flag was the Great Union flag of Great Britain. It flew over Oklahoma beginning in 1663, when King Charles II gave his friends a wide strip of country called Carolina, which stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Frances flag was the third to fly over Oklahoma. It was brought to this area in 1719 by Bernard de la Harpe, who visited an Indian village on the Arkansas River near Haskell in Muskogee County.
However, the French claims on this area go back to 1682, when La Salle claimed all the country drained by the Mississippi River and its branches in the name of France, the state historical society said.
The flag of the Spanish Empire became the fourth flag, when in 1763 France gave all the country west of the Mississippi to Spain in the Treaty of Paris. This Spanish flag was different than the first one. It has a red stripe on both top and bottom and a gold stripe between. The castle and lion are on the gold stripe.
The fifth flag, representing the Napoleonic France, appeared in 1800 when Spain gave the Louisiana Province to France.
The flag has three perpendicular red, white and blue stripes.
The U.S. flag, with 15 stars, was the next to fly over Oklahoma when the territory was obtained from France in the Louisiana Purchase.
Flag number seven also was the U.S. flag. This flags design had been created by a law passed April 4, 1818 This flag ushered in 13 alternating red and White stripes.
Mexicos flag was the eighth to fly over a part of Oklahoma the Panhandle from 1821 to 1836.
The ninth flag appeared in 1836. It was the flag of the Republic of Texas and flew over the area that included the Panhandle when Texas declared independence from Mexico.
Another Texas flag, the Lone Star Flag, designed in 1839, was the 10th flag and flew over the Panhandle until 1850.
The Choctaw Flag, which Choctaw troops fighting for the Confederacy carried during the Civil War, was the eleventh flag.
Flag number 12 was Confederate Battle Flag. Those flags were carried in Indian Territory during the Civil War during fighting at several sites.
Although Oklahoma became a state, in 1907, the first state flag, which also is the 13th to fly over Oklahoma, wasnt officially adopted until 1911. This flag is red and has a five-pointed white star in the middle with the figure 46 in blue in the middle of the star. Oklahoma was 46th state in the union.
The 14th flag is the current state flag and was adopted in 1925.
The flag honors the sixty different groups of Native Americans living in Oklahoma. The blue field comes from a flag carried by Choctaw soldiers during the Civil War. The shield in the center is a Osage warrior battle shield. It is made of buffalo hide and decorated with eagle feathers. Two symbols of peace rest on the shield. One is the calumet or peace pipe and the other is an olive branch. The crosses on the shield are Native American signs for stars. The states' name was added in 1941.
The Sunday Oklahoman Nov 14, 1982
States Fourteen Flags Show Historical Claims
By John Grelner
Flags courtesy of ITA's
Flags of All Countries
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