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Oklahoma representative takes up banner of flag design

BY RANDY KREHBIEL - Tulsa World Published: March 6, 2009
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photo - Flags flap in the wind at the state Capitol. Rep. Shane Jett authored a bill to italicize "OKLAHOMA” on the flag and add an exclamation point.  OKLAHOMA ARCHIVE PHOTO
Flags flap in the wind at the state Capitol. Rep. Shane Jett authored a bill to italicize "OKLAHOMA” on the flag and add an exclamation point. OKLAHOMA ARCHIVE PHOTO

/> "Our community is deeply initiated in the heritage of the flag,” said Luttrell, a Democrat. "We’re just unalterably opposed to any change.”

Myers, a Republican, gives talks on the flag’s history and also opposes any changes, Luttrell said.

Fluke’s design was adopted in 1925, replacing an earlier flag that featured a white star on a red background. According to popular belief, that design became unpopular after World War I because it was thought to resemble a communist banner.

The original Fluke flag, however, did not have "OKLAHOMA” on it at all. That was added in 1941.

Jett’s bill to make the flag changes has made it out of committee and awaits consideration on the House floor.

"It seemed like a good idea,” Jett said. "If it gets picked up here and there, it could give us hundreds of thousands of dollars in free publicity.”


BACKGROUND
State flag’s history

Oklahoma’s first flag was adopted in 1911 — four years after statehood. It consisted of a single blue-trimmed white star bearing the number 46 on a red field. The flag soon fell out of favor, supposedly because it was thought to resemble the flag of the newly formed Soviet Union. A 1924 contest to find a new design was won by Louise Fluke of Ponca City. The Legislature formally adopted the Fluke flag the following year. Fluke’s design of an olive branch and calumet crossed over an Osage war shield on a blue field remains in use today. The word "OKLAHOMA” in block capitals was added under the shield in 1941. A 1988 statute standardized the flag’s colors using the Pantone Matching System.

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