By Mrs. Andrew R. Hickam, State Regent
Note: The Historical Society has received many inquiries in regard to the State Flag of Oklahoma. Women's clubs and students in the schools and others have written the Society about the origin and history of the Oklahoma flag as well as its historical significance.
In order to give this information to our readers we are printing the following article, written by Mrs. Andrew R. Hickam, State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and first printed in the Oklahoma Teacher in 1927. It seems to give the information desired by many who write the Historical Society.
D. W. P.
On different occasions, it had come to the attention of the Daughters of the American Revolution that our former state flag, adopted by the Third Legislature of the State of Oklahoma, was unsatisfactory. It consisted of the numerals "46" in blue placed in the center of a white star, which was upon a red field.
This flag, unfortunately, expressed nothing of the sentiment or historical significance of Oklahoma and never made a successful appeal to the popular interest in the state. It had often been dubbed the "red rag of sedition" and with Oklahoma taking the lead in the financial as well as the intellectual world, it was not to our best interest to go marching to the front waving a "red flag."
The Daughters of the American Revolution, being primarily a patriotic organization, with the advice and encouragement of Mr. Joseph B. Thoburn of the State Historical Society, planned to remedy this situation. Information was sent out over the state, through the Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution, inviting all who were interested in doing so to submit designs for a new state flag. The committee consisting of Mrs. O. J. Fleming of Enid, as chairman, the state regent, and a member from each D. A. R. Chapter in the state, was to judge the designs submitted. The most appropriate one was then to be presented to the legislature, asking that it be legally adopted as the state flag of Oklahoma.
A great number of designs were submitted in the com-
petitive contest but there was one that stood out far above the others. It was beautiful, of appropriate symbolism, and with the individuality which would serve to attract attention. The committee made the selection and it was approved by the Tenth Legislature and became the official emblem of Oklahoma on April 2, 1925.
The state flag is described in the Oklahoma Statutes as:
"A sky-blue field with a circular rawhide shield of an American Indian Warrior, decorated with six painted crosses on the face thereof, the lower half of the shield to be fringed with seven pendant eagle feathers and superinduced upon the face of the shield a calumet or peace pipe, crossed at right angles by an olive branch as illustrated by the design accompanying this resolution."
Briefly stated the symbolism might be summarized thus:
The blue field signifies devotion; the shield typifies defensive warfare, but always surmounted by and subservient to the calumet and the olive branch which betoken the love of peace on the part of a united people.
The flag was designed by Mrs. George Fluke, Jr., who before her marriage was Miss Louise Funk of Shawnee. Mrs. Fluke is a most charming and cultured young woman with exceptional ability. She has had the very best training in art, having been a student at Columbia University and the Chicago Art Institute.
The original Indian war shield and peace pipe which served as models for Mrs. Fluke are in the Historical Museum at the State Capitol. Oklahoma is fortunate in having a flag that is a work of art as well as of historical significance and it is one of which we may well be proud.
The Oklahoma State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution has in its possession a beautiful hand painted flag, the original work of the artist, Mrs. Fluke, which it prizes highly. As the years go by this flag will be entitled to its proper place with the historical flags of our nation.
From Oklahoma Teacher, March 1927