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Tulsa, Oklahoma (U.S.)

Tulsa County

Last modified: 2022-10-08 by rick wyatt
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[flag of Tulsa, Oklahoma] image by Zachary Harden, 3 October 2018

See also:

2018 (Current) flag

The current flag was officially adopted as the city flag on 3 October 2018.
Zachary Harden, 3 October 2018

Also reported at
Dave Fowler, 3 October 2018

The blue field symbolizes the Arkansas River, and the many resources it has provided throughout our history and today.
The horizontal line represents the 1901 discovery of oil, the “black gold” that brought substantial growth and commerce to this land.
The Native American shield represents the settlement of this area by Native American tribes and is a nod to the Oklahoma state flag.
Within the shield, the red circle represents the blood shed and lives lost during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that destroyed Black Wall Street, the most prosperous African American community in the country.
The beige star at the center represents Tulsa’s bright future. A nod to Tulsa's Art Deco architecture, it shows that we heal from past wounds and continue to flourish as an icon of a uniquely American city.
The beige field represents the warmth and community commonly found in Tulsa.

Rob Raeside, 13 July 2017


1973 - 2018 Flag

[flag of Tulsa, Oklahoma] 12:19 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.


Tulsa’s flag is described in the ordinance of adoption:

The flag design shall be the corporate seal of the City of Tulsa as described herein, positioned on both sides of a white material measuring six (6) feet, four (4) inches by four (4) feet, with the seal measuring two (2) feet, six (6) inches from top to bottom located in the center of the white material.
The corporate seal is also described in its own ordinance of adoption (27 December 1967):
The Corporate Seal of the City of Tulsa shall be in the shape of a modified vertical ellipse. The upper one-third of this ellipse shall be a gold field. Superimposed on this field, in the optical center and pointing upward shall be an Indian [Native American] projectile point (arrowhead) of the Snyder variety in black and white facets. To the left [hoist] and adjacent to the base of this arrowhead there shall be the numerals “1” and “8”. To the right [fly] and adjacent to the base of this arrowhead there shall be the numerals “9” and “8”, together representing the year 1898. Superimposed upon and circumscribing the curved edge of the gold field there shall appear two rows of five-pointed blue stars, forty-six (46) in number.

The lower left [hoist] quadrant of the seal shall be a black field with a stylized white oil derrick superimposed upon and centered in the field. The lower right [fly] quadrant of the seal shall be a blue field with parallel horizontal white lines. Each line shall be composed of a series of arcs to suggest a wave form.

The upper gold field, the lower left black quadrant and the lower right blue quadrant shall be separated from each other to form the letter “T” in white. Circumscribing the lower half of the seal in Lincoln Gothic type style shall be the words “CITY OF TULSA OKLAHOMA” in gold capital letters.

John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


The “T”, of course, is the initial letter of the city’s name. The arrowhead recalls the importance of the early Native Americans in the region and their continuing influence today. The 46 stars symbolize Oklahoma as the 46th state to join the Union (16 November 1907). Tulsa was incorporated in 1898. The oil derrick suggests the importance of the petroleum industry in the rapid development of the city from its founding in 1879. The blue waters suggest the important waterways of the region, the Arkansas and Caney Rivers and Keystone Lake.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


The flag was adopted as part of celebrations of the city’s 75th anniversary.
Flag adopted: 17 August 1973 (official)
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

1941-1973 flag

[former flag of Tulsa, Oklahoma] image located by Esteban Rivera,15 July 2017

The second was a 5-striped flag with the map on it, or so it appears, from the 1940s-70s. The colors are not known. Purcell (American City Flags) does not mention it and there seems to be some mystery about it.
Albert Kirsch, 11 July 2004

Tulsa's second flag consisted of an encircled star containing a globe circumscribed with the words "Tulsa Oklahoma" in capital letters. This was adopted on September 27, 1941 during Clarence H. Veale's mayorship.
Sources: and
Esteban Rivera,15 July 2017

1923-1941 flag

[first flag of Tulsa, Oklahoma] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 July 2006

The first flag of Tulsa apparently was a "rising sun" look-alike (with blue rays; gyronny, sort of) from the 1920s to the 40s (Purcell 2003: American City Flags has this one).
Albert Kirsch, 11 July 2004

Tulsa's first flag was a non-rectangular design with the fly ending in an isosceles triangle. It consisted of a white field with a large red circle in the center with the word "Tulsa" inside. From the red circle emanate eight blue rays and six white rays. In the broader white sections are two red arrows pointing inward, with the words "Unlimited" on the hoist and "Opportunity" on the fly, both in white and in capital letters. The design suggests the brashness of early Tulsa as it grew rapidly with the petroleum industry, attracting visitors, settlers, and businesses, loudly proclaiming a bright future for all. This was adopted on June 5, 1924 during Herman F. Newblock's mayorship and designed by Alfred Perry. W.A. (Rose) Cease sewed the first flag. This video (, regarding the 1924 flag ( the video actually mentions Rosalie Keelie Cease (instead of W.A. (Rose) Cease) (perhaps a typo) as one of the designers of the flag, and it also states that the flag was presented in October, 1924, as mentioned by Mrs. Barbie Jeffers (granddaughter of Mrs. Cease) in an interview regarding the historical background of the flag.
Sources: and
Esteban Rivera,15 July 2017

2017 Tulsa flag project

Three finalists were revealed on April 26, in the effort to update Tulsa’s city flag. The project began in November 2016 and submissions have been weeded down to three flags, now going into a public-voting phase.

[proposed flags of Tulsa, Oklahoma] image located by Vexinews, 29 April 2017

Jacob Johnson and Joey Wignarajah have spearheaded the effort with Tulsa City Council support. The council anticipates eventually calling a council vote to adopt a new flag.

   The argument for a new flag is that the current flag is simply the city’s seal on a white background. A city ordinance makes it illegal to attach the city seal to anything without express permission from the city — making something as simple as printing a shirt with the city flag on it a municipal crime. Organizers also argue that the current flag is just not good — falling well behind on modern flag design and theory.

   The information-gathering phase brought in 600 pieces of unique input that leaders said fell largely into a few categories. About a third involved Tulsa’s oil and gas industry; another 30 percent regarded the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot; and other input included Tulsa’s geography in relation to the Arkansas River and Turkey Mountain, and Tulsa’s music scene. The input led into a design-gathering phase in January that was extended to accommodate more residents who wanted to submit their flag-design proposals. In total, about 250 designs were reviewed.
Vexinews, 29 April 2017

The flag selection process is described at
Vexinews, 10 June 2017

The three finalists for Tulsa’s new flag design were presented to the City Council on Wednesday (April 26), and now it’s up to the public to vote on a winner. The finalists were selected from nearly 400 submissions that came in during a public process that started in late 2016. Last fall, organizers of the Tulsa Flag ( campaign asked for public input as to what themes designers should seek to illustrate. A variety of ideas were submitted, but the group settled on some specific themes to pitch to designers.
“Each design has been carefully thought out, taking into consideration events and landmarks that have shaped Tulsa into what it is today, such as the Arkansas River, the Council Oak Tree, the discovery of oil, Art Deco architecture, the (1921) Tulsa Race Riot, Native American heritage and Black Wall Street,” states a media release announcing the finalists. “Each flag also has a unique element that ties the importance of community back into the design.”
Money for the project was raised privately.

Voting began Wednesday. To vote, text A, B, or C for the corresponding design you wish to vote for to 918-376-5690. Voting will be open for two weeks. (Notice: the three finalists are, clockwise: A, B and C:
- A: "One is half gold and half sky blue, with a little black mixed in to represent the role the oil industry has played in Tulsa. The
graphic in the middle of the flag is said to represent the Council Oak Tree, Art Deco architecture, the city’s Native American heritage and Black Wall Street."
- B: "The second option is colored dark blue, cream, red and gold. The graphic is a dreamcatcher, according to the Tulsa Flag campaign organizers. The star in the middle of the dreamcatcher is an “Art Deco style” design that “represents Tulsa’s future,” according to a design brief issued Wednesday, and it “shows that our city heals from past wounds and flourishes as an icon of a uniquely American city.”"
- C: The third option is colored dark blue, yellow and white, and the interlocking design represents “that all Tulsans are interwoven with our city’s history to form a pattern of strength and vibrancy,” according to the design brief. The gold bars are said to represent the themes selected by the project, while the blue background is a “nod to the state flag and the Arkansas River. “The center white diamond signifies safety, hope, and new beginnings,” the brief states"."

The three finalists were presented to the City Council on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. When the Tulsa Flag group launched the project, it said the city’s current flag — which is just the city seal — was stale, outdated and, worst of all, copyrighted. The result was that the flag was essentially useless. Recreating it was illegal, so unless you spent a lot of time around City Hall, you were unlikely to ever see the flag flying. "Since the new administration took office under Mayor G.T. Bynum in December, two major issues have split the City Council and pitted the elected officials against each other.

One was the battle over Helmerich Park, which polarized the council over whether to defend green space or allow development. On Wednesday (April 26), the second major split occurred around whether to change the city’s flag." (includes embedded video of the City Council (official website: receiving the three finalist proposals). The private effort to change the flag, begun in November with a social-media campaign led by a group called Tulsa Flag, has had unanimous council support during periodic updates — until Wednesday.
Esteban Rivera,15 July 2017

Winning design

[flag of Tulsa, Oklahoma] image by Zachary Harden, 3 October 2018

Voting on the new Tulsa flag has ended and a flag was selected (reported by, page no longer accessible). 
Dave Fowler, 13 July 2017

The flag design, which was proposed and solicited by a civic group, is going to be proposed the city council at a later date this year.
Zachary Harden​, 13 July 2017


[Municipal seal] image located by Paul Bassinson, 13 November 2019

Paul Bassinson, 13 November 2019