The first commemorative quarter-dollar coin released in 2008 honors Oklahoma, and is the 46th coin in the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters® Program. Oklahoma, nicknamed the "Sooner State," was admitted into the Union on November 16, 1907, becoming our Nation’s 46th state.
The Oklahoma quarter features an image of the State bird, the Scissortail Flycatcher, in flight with its distinctive tail feathers spread. The bird is soaring over the State wildflower, the Indian Blanket, backed by a field of similar wildflowers. The coin’s design also bears the inscriptions "Oklahoma" and "1907." The depiction of Indian Blanket (or Gaillardia) symbolizes the State’s rich Native American heritage and native long grass prairies that are abundant in wildlife. Oklahoma was formed by the combination of the Oklahoma Territory and the Indian Territory of the Five Civilized Tribes – Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee. The State’s name is derived from the Choctaw words "okla" and "homma," meaning "red" and "people."
The process to choose the coin’s reverse design began in February 2006. Citizens submitted more than 1,000 concepts for consideration. This eventually led to the creation of ten narratives based on these concepts. A vote by Oklahoma citizens narrowed the field to five, which were sent to the United States Mint for consideration. The final artistic renderings, developed by United States Mint Sculptor-Engravers and artists in the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, were then proposed to Oklahoma for a statewide vote. On April 30, 2007, Governor Brad Henry announced his recommendation of the State bird and wildflower design, based on the overwhelming number of citizen votes for this design.
The Department of the Treasury approved the design on May 25, 2007.
Four other designs were considered, including "Pioneer Woman and Child
with Windmill and Oil Derrick," "Pioneer Woman and Child with State
Outline and Oil Derrick," and two versions of "Pioneer Woman and Child
with State Outline and Calumet."