By D.E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer
A panel of various county officers and others plan to explore ideas they can draw from for the eventual design of a Muskogee County flag.
District 1 Commissioner Gene Wallace said he envisions a flag that would symbolize the county’s historical significance and serve as a source of pride for residents. He said he believes the project will attract widespread interest.
Wallace, a history buff, said he began mulling the idea after studying vexillology, or the study of history, symbolism and the use of flags.
During his research, Wallace said, he learned that although county commissioners have the authority to create a flag, only five of Oklahoma’s 77 counties are known to have one.
“We have a lot of local history here — Muskogee County was the cradle of democracy for the state of Oklahoma,” Wallace said, noting that the territory’s first military outpost, hospital and theater were located in what is now Muskogee County. “This part of the state developed long before the rest, and our feeling is that this could be our identification and a rallying point for our county.”
Wallace hopes the panel will meet sometime during the next two weeks to iron out a process for design development. He and others who will serve as panelists — District Attorney Larry Moore and Treasurer Kelly Garrett are among them — envision a process that will attract the participation of individuals, schools and other organizations.
Panelists said some of their initial ideas include collecting ideas and facts that distinguish Muskogee County from all others. Those ideas could be narrowed down and submitted for visual conceptualization.
“Although we don’t know what it is right now, we will know it when we see it,” Wallace said about the eventual symbol that will identify and represent the county by flag. “When we arrive at a final design, it will reflect early development up to the current development of the county.”
There also has been talk about commemorating the flag design process by placing a time capsule at the base of the flag pole outside the county courthouse. Wallace said some of those who take part in the process may be around in 50 years and remember how the project came together.
Wallace said there “will be room for a lot of ideas.” He encouraged anybody who is interested to contact his or her commissioner to learn how to get involved.
Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.