Oklahoma adopted its first state flag in 1911. The red background of the flag referred to the Native American population, and its central white-and-blue star and two numbers 46 represented Oklahoma's admission to the Union as the 46th state. Some citizens, notably the adjutant general of the state, opposed that flag after World War I because of its resemblance to communist banners.
A new flag was adopted on April 2, 1925. It consisted of a blue field bearing the traditional bison-hide shield of the Osage Indians. Louise Funk Fluke developed the flag based on a suggestion made by Joseph Thoburn of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The blue background of Fluke's design symbolized loyalty and devotion, and the shield suggested the defense of the state. The shield bore small crosses, which stood for stars (as is common in Native American art), and the olive branch and calumet were included as emblems of peace for whites and Native Americans, respectively.
On May 9, 1941, the name of the state was added to the background of the original flag. The legislature of Oklahoma made clear specifications for the color shades of the flag on November 1, 1988.
Official name: State of Oklahoma.
State nickname: the Sooner State.
Total area: 69,903 sq mi, 181,048 sq km.
Population (2000): 3,450,654.
Population by race, origin (1997): white non-Hispanic 80.1%; white Hispanic 3.1%; black (including Hispanic) 7.7%; American Indian/Eskimo/Aleut 7.8%; Asian/Pacific Islander 1.3%.
Natural increase rate per 1,000 population (1995): 3.9 (U.S. avg. 6.0).
Gross domestic (state) product (1996): U.S.$72,800,000,000 (U.S.$22,090 per capita).
Land use (1992): federal land 2.8%; non-federal land 97.2%, of which forest 16.0%, cropland 23.1%, pasture 17.7%, rangeland 32.3%, urban and built-up areas 4.3%, other 3.8%.
Exports by state (1997): U.S.$2,728,000,000; percent of national total 0.44%.