The Lone Star on the Oklahoma State Flag

Every state has its own unique story, culture, and identity. In the case of Oklahoma, the state flag is a symbol of all that and more. At first glance, it may seem like a simple design with a lone star, but the meaning behind it runs deep. In this article, we will delve into the story behind the Lone Star on the Oklahoma State flag. We will explore its birth, significance, symbolism, and cultural impact to give readers a comprehensive understanding of what makes this emblem so special. Join us on this journey of discovery and uncover the hidden tales behind one of the most recognizable state flags in America.

The Birth of the Oklahoma State Flag

The Birth Of The Oklahoma State Flag
Oklahoma’s state flag is a symbol of its history, heritage, and people. The flag’s design features a sky blue background with an Osage warrior’s shield, adorned with two symbols of peace, a ceremonial peace pipe representing Native American culture, and an olive branch representing European culture. The shield is centered on a stylized red and white sun with rays shaped like eagle feathers, which is the emblem of the sun god from the Pan-American Indian culture. However, the most distinct feature of the Oklahoma state flag is the lone star in the center of the blue field. This flag design came from a competition held in 1924 by the Daughters of the American Revolution where more than 300 entries were submitted.

1. Choosing the Design

In 1924, the Oklahoma State Legislature organized a contest to design the state’s first official flag. A $50 prize was offered to the winning design. Several submissions were received, but ultimately Louise Fluke’s design was chosen as the winner. Her design incorporated a sky blue field with a centered traditional Osage Nation buffalo-skin shield decorated with seven eagle feathers.

The blue field represents devotion and the shield portrays the mission of defending the state. The eagle feathers symbolize the Native American’s reverence for eagles and their feathers, which they use in their religious ceremonies.

Louise Fluke’s submission was chosen among the other entries since it incorporated the traditional Oklahoma symbols and demonstrated the qualities of patriotism and devotion.

It is important to note that the design wasn’t finalized immediately as there was a debate over the inclusion of the “Lone Star” from the Texas State Flag and that design element underwent some changes.

2. The Lone Star

The Lone Star on the Oklahoma state flag is a symbol of unity and independence, as well as a defining feature of the flag’s design. The Lone Star is situated in the center of a traditional French naval flag, also known as the Tricolor. The French flag’s blue, white, and red colors represent the diverse cultures that have influenced the state’s history, including Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and French cultures.

The Lone Star itself is a highly symbolic element of the Texas state flag. It is also a symbol of the independent spirit of the people of Oklahoma. Many Oklahomans believe that the Lone Star represents the state’s determination to stand out among other states, both culturally and politically.

The Lone Star’s large size on the flag of Oklahoma is intended to immerse viewers in the state’s patriotic spirit. The flag’s design also suggests that Oklahoma is a place where individualism is celebrated, and people are encouraged to pursue their dreams. This tribute to individualism is an integral part of Oklahoma’s history and culture, and it is deeply woven into the state’s collective identity.

As a widely recognized symbol of Texas and Oklahoma, the Lone Star has been incorporated into many aspects of the state’s daily life. It appears on everything, from the logo of the Oklahoma State University to the state’s highway patrol cars. Whether it is placed atop an oil pump or displayed on the state’s license plates, the Lone Star is a potent image of regional pride and tradition.

While other states also incorporate stars into their flags, the Lone Star on the Oklahoma state flag is unique because of its central placement on the Tricolor banner. This placement gives the Lone Star high visibility and ensures its prominent role in the state’s cultural and political identity.

The Lone Star Symbolism

The Lone Star on the Oklahoma State Flag has great symbolic significance. It symbolizes Oklahoma as the 46th state to join the United States in 1907. The star also represents the Native American sovereignty and culture in Oklahoma, recognized by the government. The ceremonial meaning of the star, as in many other states, represents the unity of the people and communities within the state. With its five points, the Oklahoma State Flag star also represents important principles of friendship, reverence, loyalty, perseverance, and justice. The star on the Oklahoma State Flag contributes significantly to the state’s identity and serves as a reminder of the state’s history, values, and tradition. It is interesting to note that many other state flags also have significant historical, cultural, and symbolic meanings, such as the symbolism of the eagle on the Pennsylvania State Flag or the bear on the California State Flag.

1. Native American Significance

The Oklahoma State Flag’s lone star isn’t just a nod to the state’s history as the land of cowboys, oil fields, and rodeos. It’s also a tribute to the state’s Native American heritage. The flag design committee explains that the blue background of the Oklahoma flag represents the sky, while the Native American symbol for a star is a solitary white star on a blue field, which can be traced back to the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes that lived in Oklahoma before European settlers arrived.

The color white is considered to be a sacred color in many Native American cultures, and the star is often a symbol of hope in dark times. Some indigenous tribes refer to the star as the Morning Star, which represents renewed hope and a new beginning. The five points of the star on the flag symbolize the five civilized tribes that were forced out of the southeastern United States and relocated to Oklahoma.

Many tribal nations across Oklahoma have their unique flags that are decorated with stars, stripes and other symbols that reflect their values and beliefs. Historically, Native Americans have shown reverence for flags and standards as a symbol of unity and strength, something that reflects the significance of the lone star on Oklahoma’s flag.

The decision to include a lone star on the Oklahoma flag was not only to represent the state’s history and culture, but also to embody the historical and present-day significance of Native American culture in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma flag is just one of many state flags that honors the cultures and traditions of the Native American people that once called the land home.

2. Historical Significance

Historical Significance: The Oklahoma State Flag was adopted in 1925, and its design bears a deep historical significance. The design of the flag was taken from the battle flags carried by the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. This overt reference to the Confederacy initially raised concerns about its appropriateness as the state flag. However, after a long debate, the design was approved, and the flag has remained unchanged since then. It is worth noting that the Lone Star on the Oklahoma State Flag is the only symbol that does not represent the state’s geography or its Native American history.

The use of Confederate symbolism on state flags is a divisive issue in the United States. Many people see it as an offensive reminder of the country’s history of slavery and racial discrimination. However, defenders of the flag’s design argue that it represents Oklahoma’s cultural heritage and history, rather than any endorsement of the Confederacy’s beliefs. They point out that the flag’s color scheme, which includes blue, white, and red, is similar to that of the American flag, underscoring Oklahoma’s commitment to the Union. Nonetheless, the use of Confederate symbolism on state flags remains a contentious issue across the country.

The controversy surrounding the Oklahoma State Flag is not unique. Many state flags across the United States contain symbols or references that reflect the state’s history or culture. For example, the California State Flag features a grizzly bear, a symbol of the state’s once-abundant animal population. The Florida State Flag shows a Native American Seminole woman and a sabal palm tree. The Arizona State Flag has a copper star in the center, representing the importance of the copper mining industry in the state. The Mississippi State Flag features the Confederate battle flag in its design, which has been a source of controversy and debate for many years. All of these symbols tell a story and represent the history of their respective states, just as the Lone Star represents Oklahoma’s history and cultural heritage.

The controversy surrounding the use of Confederate symbolism on state flags is likely to continue, as some people view it as an affront to the country’s values and principles. However, as long as states continue to use these symbols, it is important to understand their historical context and the stories they tell. The Lone Star on the Oklahoma State Flag is an important reminder of the state’s history and cultural heritage, just as all symbols on state flags represent some aspect of the state’s unique identity.

The Lone Star Today

The Lone Star on the Oklahoma State Flag remains an essential part of the state’s official symbol. Today, the flag is widely displayed at government offices, schools, and other public places. The Oklahoma military also uses the flag in official ceremonies, particularly to honor service members and veterans. According to the official flag protocol, the flag should be treated with respect and never touch the ground, floor, or water. Interestingly, the flag’s intricate symbolism has helped keep the Lone Star meaningful to Oklahomans of all ages. Beyond its historical significance, the Lone Star represents the state’s citizens and their commitment to upholding democratic values. As such, the flag remains a powerful reminder of Oklahoma’s unique culture, heritage, and pride.

1. Flag Protocol

Oklahoma State Flag Protocol is a set of guidelines that dictate how the flag should be treated, displayed, and cared for. The flag protocol is essential to follow as it shows respect for the state and its heritage. Here are some of the flag protocols of the Oklahoma State Flag.

Protocol Description
Displaying the flag The flag of Oklahoma should be displayed during business hours, weather permitting, on or near the main administration building of every public institution of the State, on or near the principal building of every state-supported institution, in or near every schoolhouse of the State, and in or near every polling place on election days.
Half-staff position The flag should be flown at half-staff when directed by the President of the United States, the Governor of Oklahoma, or by an order of the legislature.
Parade use The flag may be carried in parades and other ceremonies but should never be dipped to any person or thing.
Times of display The Oklahoma State Flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset, except when illuminated by a light source, during all weather conditions unless the flag is made of a material that is not designed for prolonged outdoor use or unless notified by the Governor’s office.
Position and posture When displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, the flag of Oklahoma should be on its own right, with its staff in front of the other flag. When displayed on a single staff, it should be below and centered with the United States flag above it. When the Oklahoma State Flag is flown on the same halyard as the United States flag, the United States flag should always be at the top.
Damage and disposal When the Oklahoma State Flag is no longer in condition of beauty or service, it should be burned in a dignified manner and disposed of properly. The flag should never be thrown away or used for decoration, advertising, or as clothing.

It is important to follow these protocols to show respect for the state of Oklahoma. It honors the people who have given their lives for the state and the country. If you want to learn more about the symbolism of state flags, check out the page about Texas State Flag Symbolism.

2. Cultural and Patriotic Significance

The cultural and patriotic significance of the lone star on the Oklahoma State Flag runs deep in the hearts of Oklahomans. The people of Oklahoma take great pride in their state flag. They see it as a symbol of their rich cultural heritage, their love for their state, and their respect for their nation.

One way in which the Oklahoma State Flag is culturally significant is through its design. The flag’s design incorporates a traditional Osage shield and crossed peace pipes, representing the rich Native American heritage of the state. The blue background of the flag represents devotion, while the shield displays courage and valor. The combination of Native American symbolism and American ideals makes the Oklahoma State Flag a deeply cultural and patriotic symbol.

The Oklahoma State Flag also has a historical significance. It was designed in 1924 and adopted in 1925. The flag has been used as a symbol of Oklahoma’s identity ever since. During World War II, the Oklahoma State Flag was a source of pride for soldiers from Oklahoma, who proudly carried it into battle. The flag’s popularity grew over the years, and in 2001, it was voted the best state flag design in the United States by the North American Vexillological Association.

Today, the Oklahoma State Flag is used in a variety of ways to demonstrate cultural and patriotic pride. It is flown on government buildings, businesses, and homes throughout the state of Oklahoma. It is often used as a backdrop for public ceremonies, including parades, graduations, and sporting events. Many Oklahomans proudly wear clothing and accessories featuring the Oklahoma State Flag, demonstrating their love for their state.

The cultural and patriotic significance of the lone star on the Oklahoma State Flag is undeniable. Its symbolism has deep roots in Native American heritage, and its design and history make it a source of pride for Oklahomans everywhere. As the state continues to grow and change, the Oklahoma State Flag will undoubtedly remain an important cultural and patriotic symbol for generations to come.


Overall, the lone star on the Oklahoma state flag has a rich history and symbolism attached to it. From its Native American roots to its role in Oklahoma’s emergence as a state, the lone star remains an enduring symbol of Oklahoma’s identity and heritage. Today, the flag and its lone star continue to be revered by Oklahomans, and it is flown proudly at homes, businesses, and public buildings across the state. Through its continued use and prominence, the lone star symbolizes not only the state’s past but also its present and future.

In conclusion, the Oklahoma state flag symbolizes the state’s unique geography, history, and culture. Its design and symbolism have remained largely unchanged since its creation in 1925, and it remains an important symbol of Oklahoma’s identity nearly a century later. The lone star, in particular, is a powerful symbol of Oklahoma’s history and identity, and it continues to inspire pride and patriotism among Oklahomans today. As with other state flags, the Oklahoma state flag serves as a reminder of the unique stories, histories, and cultures that make up the broader tapestry of American history and identity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history of the Oklahoma State flag?

The Oklahoma State flag was officially adopted on November 1, 2006, but its design dates back to 1925.

Why was the Lone Star chosen for the Oklahoma State flag?

The Lone Star was chosen to represent Oklahoma’s Native American heritage as well as its history as a part of Texas.

What does the Lone Star symbolize?

The Lone Star represents unity, a single star shining bright in the sky, as well as the state’s independent spirit.

What is the Native American significance of the Lone Star?

The five-pointed star is known as the “Morning Star” in Native American culture, and is seen as a symbol of hope, guidance, and new beginnings.

What is the historical significance of the Lone Star?

As a part of Texas, Oklahoma was subject to the same struggles for independence and freedom, and the Lone Star represents these struggles and the state’s eventual achievement of self-rule.

What is the protocol for displaying the Oklahoma State flag?

The Oklahoma State flag should be flown above the American flag, and never allowed to touch the ground. It should also never be flown in inclement weather unless it is an all-weather flag.

What is the cultural and patriotic significance of the Oklahoma State flag?

The Oklahoma State flag is a symbol of state pride and unity, and is often displayed at patriotic events and celebrations. It is also a reminder of the state’s rich history and diverse culture.

What is the meaning of the colors on the Oklahoma State flag?

The blue on the flag represents devotion, the shield represents defense, and the olive branch represents peace.

What is the significance of the eagle on the Oklahoma State flag?

The eagle stands for freedom and enterprise, and is a symbol of the state’s western heritage.

What is the significance of the number 46 on the Oklahoma State flag?

The number 46 represents Oklahoma’s place as the 46th state to enter the Union, and serves as a reminder of the state’s history and unique identity.


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