Vol. 2, Issue #8 May 11th - May 24th, 2007

I Love My State Flag!
By: Hugh Meade

Just like I love my state and especially Our City. The Oklahoma state flag was the first American state flag in space (take that, Texas!). I don’t propose that it should ever change.

But I did notice, while driving through Texas, that their flag, un-original as it is, can be easily painted by almost anyone onto mailboxes, barns, faces, driveways, etc, ad nauseum.

Ours, on the other hand, takes at least a modicum of artisitic talent to render effectively. I love that it so clearly celebrates the presence of a long existing set of indigenous cultures, and I’d like to think it is offensive to very few.(longhorn fans excepted, of course.)

At the Oklahoma History Center, there is a line of flagpoles outside displaying all the flags that have flown over the Oklahoma territory and state since people who make flags have been here. My favorite is the one that was essentially outlawed during the “Red Scare” (remember that...anyone?anyone?).

It’s simple and red with a single white star and the number “46” in blue in the center of the star. nice.

But I don’t believe in living in the past. I think you should have a clear understanding of the past so you can make the best possible decisions in the now for the future, but the past is the past.

So I made my own flag.

Because I love this state and I do “believe in Oklahoma”. In fact I believe in Oklahoma generally more than many born Oklahomans do. I wanted an emblem of that belief, and here it is.

A field of bright green. Green means so many good things. Natural, healthy growth. And of course, as energy has been the mainstay of Oklahoma success for so many people for so long, it represents the “green” renewable energy of the future. A single star, representing the essential independent nature of Oklahomans, but still one of the fifty on our nations famous spangled banner. Outlined in black, for the “black gold” that made so many Oklahomans of the past and present their fortunes. And still the number 46 in the center of the star, also in black.

But it isn’t the number forty six, or 46. It is the binary code of one’s and zero’s representing the character set 46 in 8 bit Ascii text. Don’t know what that means? Ask your geek/nerd friend to explain it. Because that friend represents the future, here in Oklahoma; the “State of Creativity”.

It also represents my own experience of revelation about Oklahoma. That it is difficult to understand what it means to be an Oklahoman if you don’t already know how to “read” the code. If you’ve never been here. If you’ve never known more about our state than the few paragraphs in your school history lessons, which I often paraphrase as “Trail of Tears, Land Run, Dust Bowl, Bombing”. And that once you do know what it means, it is a simple and lovely thing. A statement of fact about our place in history. Our place in the future.

So, this is my emblem; the emblem of the Second Century School. The banner for people who really “believe in Oklahoma”. I encourage you to take it up as your own, or make one altogether new and original. All I ask is that it be relatively easy to paint all over the side of a huge barn in Texas.


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