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Oklahoma Cultural Symbols

Oklahoma has about 25 official cultural symbols, some of which are explored under symbols of the arts. If you’re looking for additional information, you can check out my books.

Cultural Symbols  
Colors green and white 1915
Monument The Golden Driller 1979
Pin “OK” pin 1982
Meal Fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas 1988
Steak ribeye 2019
Beverage milk Redundant Symbol 1985
Tartan Oklahoma Tartan 1999
Folk Song Oklahoma Hills 2001
Land Run Song The Oklahoma Run 2009
Country Western Song Faded Love 1988
Gospel Song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 2011
Inspirational Song I Can Only Imagine 2018
Waltz Oklahoma Wind 1982
Children’s Song Oklahoma, My Native Land 1996
Rock Song (former) Do You Realize? 2009
Musical Instrument fiddle 1984
Percussive Musical Instrument drum 1993
Western Band The Sounds of the Southwest 1997
Theatre Lynn Riggs Players of Oklahoma, Inc. 1971
Folk Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1988
Poem Howdy Folks 1973
Cartoon Character Gusty 2005
Caricature Artist Teresa Farrington 2005
Wood Art Capital of Oklahoma Capital Oklahoma Forest Heritage Center 2010
Vietnam War Memorial Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park, Enid 2013
Language English Redundant Symbol 2002
Flag Salute 2002
Oklahoma Cultural SymbolsGolden Driller (left) with milk and an Oklahoma tartan.

Oklahoma is the only state that calls green and white its official colors. The colors were adopted in 1915 at the urging of The Ohoyohoma Circle, a club composed of the wives of the members of the Fifth legislature. (Ohoyohoma is a Choctaw word translated as “women’s circle.”)

The colors were reportedly chosen to complement the green leaves and white berries of the mistletoe, which was then Oklahoma’s state flower. The Standard Sentinel observed that “The fact that all rugs, carpets and tapestries in all Oklahoma state offices are green makes the selection unusually suitable.”

One of my favorite green things is okra, which is part of Oklahoma’s official state meal: Fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas. In 2019, ribeye became Oklahoma’s official steak.

The Golden Driller was designated Oklahoma’s official monument in 1979. Located in Tulsa, the Golden Driller stands 76 feet tall. A plaque at the base of the monument reads,

“The Golden Driller, a symbol of the International Petroleum Exposition. Dedicated to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring have created from God’s abundance a better life for mankind.”

The “OK” pin was designated Oklahoma’s official pin in 1982.

Amazingly, I wasn’t able to find a picture of Oklahoma’s official pin on the Internet. However, the official description suggests a design resembling the state flag, with the rectangular banner replaced by an outline of the state and the word “OKLAHOMA” replaced by the letters “OK.”

Oklahoma is among the states with an official tartan, the Oklahoma Tartan. The design features the colors red, white, black and gold on a field of blue. The colors are symbolic of Oklahoma’s people, agricultural products, manufactured products, and natural resources.

Below is my vision of an Oklahoma tartan prominently featuring the state colors, green and white.

Oklahoma GeoTartan