State Quarter Design Winner Announced

Monday, April 30th 2007, 2:33 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahomans have spoken, and they want to feature the state bird and the state wildflower on the state's commemorative quarter.

Governor Brad Henry said Monday that Oklahomans who voted on the design of the quarter chose one that depicts the scissor-tailed flycatcher and the Gaillardia pulchella plant, commonly known as the Indian blanket.

More than 148,000 votes were cast in the online quarter competition and the winning design garnered 76,643 votes – more than the other four designs combined.

Each of the other designs featured depictions of the Pioneer Woman statue that deleted the book the statue holds in her right hand that many interpret as being a Bible. The other designs also featured a gushing oil derrick, waving wheat, a windmill and a calumet.

The Pioneer Woman statue, located in Ponca City, is a 30-foot-tall bronze statue depicting a stoic young mother with her son's hand firmly grasped in her left hand and the book in her right.

Guidelines posted on the U.S. Mint's Web site say "inappropriate" designs for the quarters include logos or specific commercial, educational, religious, sports or other organizations whose membership or ownership is not universal.

Henry said it was important during Oklahoma's centennial year for citizens to have the final word on the appearance of the state's commemorative quarter. The quarter is part of a special series launched by the U.S. Mint in 1999.

"Oklahoma has a rich heritage and diverse culture, and so it was a formidable challenge to distill everything that is Oklahoma down to a single design," Henry said. He said the winning design "is an illustration that attests to the state's natural beauty."

The design process began last year when two committees reviewed hundreds of designs submitted by Oklahomans and narrowed the entries down to 10. Oklahomans then chose five finalists that were submitted to the Treasury Department.

Under federal guidelines, those designs were written narratives that the Mint converted to visual form. Oklahomans then voted again, choosing among the five designs crafted by the U.S. Mint.

The commemorative quarter will be issued by the U.S. Mint early next year.

Related stories:

4/11/2006 - Ideas Submitted For State Quarter

8/2/2006 - State Quarter Design Process Down To 10 Suggestions

9/20/2006 - Finalists For State Quarter Narrowed To 5

1/20/2007 - Federal Panel Selects Design For State Quarter

4/11/2007 - Oklahomans To Decide Quarter Design

4/13/2007 - Voting On The Final State Quarter Design