Oklahoma became the 46th state in the United States on November 16, 1907.
Originally, the state of Oklahoma was set aside for the exclusive use of the Indians and was called Indian Territory. However, in 1889, the land was opened to settlers in what became know as the “Oklahoma Land Rush.” In the first opening day on April 22, 1889, 50,000 people swarmed into the area. Those who tried to beat the noon starting gun were called Sooners. The state’s nickname is Hence.
The Oklahoma state flag honors more than 60 groups of Native Americans and their ancestors. The blue field comes from a flag carried by Choctaw soldiers during the civil war. The center shield is the battle shield of an Osage warrior. It is made of buffalo hide and decorated with eagle feathers. Two symbols of peace lie across the shield. One is the calumet, or peace pipe. The other is an olive branch. Crosses on the shield are Native American signs for stars, representing high ideals.
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