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Oklahoma State Senate

Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

Audio Clip

For Immediate Release: April 7, 2005

The Fluke family along with Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin, Rep. Jim Newport and Sen. David Myers
in front of the state's original flag.
L-R: Steven Fluke, George & Virginia Fluke, Mary Fallin, Rep. Newport, Sen. Myers, Robert & Beverly Fluke and Ponca City Mayor Richard Stone.

Sen. Myers thanks the Fluke family for their generous gift.

Oklahoma's First Official Flag Donated to State by Designer's Family

Following the 80th anniversary of Oklahoma's unique flag design on April 2, the family of the banner's designer, Louise Funk Fluke, donated the original flag to the state today at the Capitol.

"Just this past weekend in Ponca City, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of our beautiful flag and paid tribute to its designer, Mrs. Fluke, who is considered one of Ponca City's daughters. Then today we witnessed its homecoming back to the hallowed halls of the State Capitol building," said Sen. David Myers, R-Ponca City. "I'm so proud to know the Fluke family. I know it must have been hard to let go of such an extraordinary family treasure."

The state's current flag was designed by Mrs. Fluke in 1925 and received approval from the legislature on March 25 of that same year. The newly adopted flag was flown for the first time over the State Capitol on April 2, 1925. The only change to the flag since then was the addition of the word "OKLAHOMA" in 1941.

The banner is a large impressive silk flag edged in gold fringe that was both sewn and painted by hand. It was brought from Houston by George and Virginia Fluke, son and daughter-in-law of the designer. The flag is one of the first signed by Louise Fluke and her signature can be plainly seen on the right side below the shield. The Flukes recently had the flag treated and framed in a pressurized gilt frame to preserve its original beauty. The Flukes currently live in Houston, Texas and have wanted to return the flag to its real home in Oklahoma for some time.

"We've wanted for a long time to share the flag with the very people it represents, but an opportunity never presented itself until Senator Myers approached us recently about bringing it back to the Capitol," said Mr. Fluke. "We want future generations to be able to enjoy the flag as much as we have, and my family and I want to thank everyone who has made that possible."

While Oklahoma was admitted as a state in 1907, the Legislature did not adopt a flag until 1911. The design was not readily accepted by the citizens. It was a red flag emblazoned with a white star which was imprinted with the number "46". Some critics regarded the flag as a sign of quarantine and Oklahoma soldiers called it a "socialist rag". In 1924, Dr. James Thoburn, secretary of the Oklahoma Historical Society, asked the State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution to sponsor a contest to find a new design for the state flag. The result was the present state flag designed by Mrs. Fluke, an artist.

The Flukes were joined by their sons Steven Fluke of Salt Lake City and Robert G. Fluke and his wife Beverly of Houston, Texas. During the special ceremony, Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin accepted the family's historic gift on behalf of the citizens of Oklahoma.

"This was a proud day for Oklahoma as the original state flag returned to the Capitol," said Fallin. "We are truly grateful to the Fluke family for this generous gesture."

Rep. Jim Newport, R-Ponca City, then presented the Fluke family with the Oklahoma flag that flew over the Capitol on April 2, 2005 as a replacement for their historic donation and as a gift of gratitude from the State of Oklahoma.

The flag will be added to the large collection of historical artwork in the Capitol donated as part of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund noted Charles R. Ford, former Senator and President of the fund.

"I want to thank the Fluke family for their loving care of this historical artifact all these years, but most of all for sharing their mother's magnificent creation with all of us. We are all truly touched by their generosity and I know that the citizens of Oklahoma will enjoy it as much as their family has," Ford said.

For more information contact:
Senate Communications Office- (405) 521-5698

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