Fly it proudly

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According to the Flags of the World website, this was the City of Tulsa's flag from 1923-1941. (Can you guess why it might have changed in 1941?)

While there's a dated quality to the flag, the same can be said for our current seal and flag, which are very, very '70s. I rather like the boosterism and optimism in this one. It has the added advantage of being contemporaneous with our city's best architecture, while the current flag is closest in time to our ungracefully aging City Hall.

Perhaps we could revise this flag with a new slogan. Here's one idea: replace "Unlimited Opportunity" with "Straight Ahead" in honor of the song written by Jimmy Hall, fiddler and vocalist with Leon McAuliffe's band. ("Take Me Back to Tulsa" is a great song, but I think this is a better candidate for official city song.)


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Mark Sanders said:

"Tulsa - Straight Ahead" Great idea, Michael! Better than any other slogan floating around, that's for sure. I also like the old Tulsa flag design. It could serve to echo and reinforce the deco/early modernist design ethic that should be a strong part of Tulsa's present identity. The local ruling elite might even find the imperialism suggested by the "sun rays" rather inspiring . . . . I don't much care for the large arrows though (much cleaner design w/o them) or the red color (turquoise might work better).

And speaking of red flags, did you know that Oklahoma had one in the early 1910's - a striking solid red banner with a single central star surrounding the number "46". You can see it on the Flags of the World site or at This flag was an expression of the strength of Oklahoma's unique brand of Christian agrarian socialism at that time. It was changed, and its display outlawed, at the time of the first Red Scare (1919). Unbelievably, the law (almost surely unconstitutional) is still on the books! Section 21-374 says:

"Any person in this state, who shall carry or cause to be carried, or publicly display any red flag or other emblem or banner, indicating disloyalty to the Government of the United States or a belief in anarchy or other political doctrines or beliefs, whose objects are either the disruption or destruction of organized government, or the defiance of the laws of the United States or of the State of Oklahoma, shall be deemed guilty of a felony . . . ."

I got an Oklahoma red flag t-shirt from last year, and I wear it proudly and defiantly every chance I get!

Kevin Carson said:

That's certainly an eye-catching flag. Here in Springdale, the Chamber of Commerce hired some ad agency to design a city logo featuring the slogan "We like it. We love it." Wow! I wonder how much they got paid for writing down the first thing that came into their heads. Reminds me of Bart Simpson's reaction to the latest "Where's Waldo?" book, with Waldo standing out in plain sight in all the pictures: "Man, he's not even tryin' any more!"

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 6, 2007 12:24 AM.

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