Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oklahoma and South Dakaota - Fraternal Flag Twins

Flags often looks a like, but would you believe that every flag in the union can be partnered up? two by two? For instance Texas and North Carolina are spitting images of each other, just like Kansas & Montana, or Pennsylvania & Michigan.

In this post the providence flag partners discussed are Oklahoma & South Dakota.

Both South Dakota and Oklahoma feature lighter shades of blue for the background, most states use navy blue. Coincidentally they match like yin and yang or rather day and night. Reason being, South Dakota has the outline of a sun around the seal while the square crosses on Oklahoma's Native American shield represent stars. Thus the essence of day is on the the flag of South Dakota while the hallmark of night - stars - are featured on Oklahoma.

Flag of Oklahoma
brown crosses symbolize the stars at night
flag of the NIGHT SUNS

Furthermore both flags feature sacred smoking technologies. The flag of Oklahoma has a Peace Pipe. Peace Pipes are more than mere means of nicotine insertion.

These pipes are considered sacred by Native Americans, in a similar vein to the Bible. Native American Peace Pipes are devices that allow one to connect to Mother Earth through a short lived narcotic effect.

Smokers often feel a sense of mental clarity and clam due to the 'magical' effects of the herbal agents within the tobacco leaf. But the sensation is short lived, highly addictive and dose not interfere with work productivity - sometimes improving labor costs. However there are health hazards and stinky smells that tag along.

The Pipes with Smoke - Flag of South Dakota
Industrial Smokestack and 'Smoking' Steam Boat

In balance to the smoking pipe, there is an active smoke pipe on South Dakota's Flag. The smoke stack represents the amazing ingenuity of the non-native Newcomer American. In a counter charge to ingesting smoke, the Western Mind has constructed a larger than man, man made pipe so as to go inside, in order to manipulate Mother Earth Herself. The result can be highly profitable business that can lead to a life of luxury. However there are negative consequences like labor issues, pollution, and criminal activity that often tags along with profitable industry.

Culturally speaking Oklahoma and South Dakota share a parallel heritage with the strongest of Native American Anthems. Native Americans live in all 50 states but usually as a super minority and are largely ignored. However in Oklahoma and South Dakota, Native Americans have clout and a pronounced undeniable presence.

In most states the percentage of Native Americans is consistently below 1%. Oklahoma is more than 10% Native while South Dakota teeters on 9%. 9% is a big number for any would be banker or marketing executive on Wall Street.

Flag of South Dakota
yellow triangles symbolize the sun
Flag of the Day Star

Coincidentally two modern tragedies took place in both states that deal with fighting the US federal government. Most recently the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 was the most destructive act of terrorism from a natural home grown American. In 1973 South Dakota Native American activists clashed with deadly force with the federal government - only three people officially died in the incident, but hundreds of people were murdered in the aftermath though political fighting.

The bombing of Oklahoma City and the Wounded Knee political assassinations tap into the deepest deep seated, sometimes overlooked wounds of America. In a weird way Oklahoma City carries the echo of the anti-federal outlook of the Confederacy. Likewise the 1970s Wounded Knee deaths were a karmic boomerang and echo of hate and vengeance between Native and Old World Newcomer Americans.

Both states carry historical Native American tombstones from the 1800s. Oklahoma served as the terminus of the Trail of Tears - when many Native Americans were forced from their homes in the South to live in Oklahoma. Even though most of these Natives Americans adopted western customs, dress, law, and religion they were nonetheless forcibly removed from their land at gunpoint under law. They were promised that the state would remain 100% in Native American hands, but that promise was broken, like many others.

A similar thing happened with Natives in the North, but with South Dakota at the terminus. The Trail of Tears that led to Oklahoma is balanced with the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. Although Native Americans were hit with genocidal policies in all 50 States, two key notes sung by Oklahoma and South Dakota are well remembered - the Trail of Tears and the Massacre of Wounded Knee.

Close up of South Dakota's Panhandle
New Albion Road passes through it
from Montana to South Dakota

But all is not tragedy. In the tragic wake of these dark chapters of American History came two stars of hope - Jim Thrope and Bill Mills. Thrope and Mills are the silver linings of the American Dream. Bill Mills was born in South Dakota later to become an orphan, US Marine, and gold Olympic athlete at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Bill Mills is the second Native American to win gold at those events, the first Native American was from Oklahoma - Jim Thrope. It was 100 years ago at the 1912 Stockholm, Swedish Olympics a Native American from Oklahoma brought home gold in the pentathlon and decathlon.

Geographically speaking both states have odd shaped handles. The pan handle of Oklahoma is distinguished and obvious for all to see. And believe it or not South Dakota has a pan-handle as well - it's really hard to see. The western line of North Dakota, Nebraska, and South Dakota has a little kink in it - in other words it ain't straight. Specifically at the tri-state corner of Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota there is a slight offset. Montana is about a mile more eastward than Wyoming. This gives South Dakota the faintest yet widest 'pan handle.' Perhaps it is better to think of it as a 'secret panel' than a pan handle?

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