The scissor-tailed flycatcher and the Indian blanket wildflower.

They’re not the first — but perhaps the last — thing that comes to mind when most Oklahomans and out-of-staters think of the Sooner State.

Nevertheless, their images will grace the reverse side of Oklahoma’s commemorative quarter scheduled to be minted in early 2008.

The special-issue quarters — one for each state — are being produced in the order that each state entered the Union. Oklahoma, which became a state on Nov. 16, 1907, is the 46th state.

Gov. Brad Henry announced last week that state voters by a 2-to-1 margin — the majority of the votes cast online — had chosen a design featuring the bird and wildflower.

Some Oklahomans have expressed outrage, expressing their belief that the Sooner State deserved better, especially with a state history that is more colorful than most.

Their choices included the scissor-tailed flycatcher and Indian blanket wildflower design, and four others that featured a representation of the “Pioneer Woman” statue in Ponca City.

More than 148,000 votes were cast, with about 52 percent opting for the scissor-tailed sketch.

Some Okies expressed displeasure of the Pioneer Woman’s designs because U.S. Mint sketches omitted a Bible in the woman’s right hand. It may be a moot point, but it’s another example of a society jumping off the deep end in the name of political correctness.

Some of the protests have merit.

As Oklahoma nears its 100th birthday, it is apparent that our state’s unique history deserves more than a bird and wildflower.

Why weren’t more choices offered?

How about a design of Oklahoma oil fields? Or one that depicts the American Indian influence on the state or the land run that opened Oklahoma Territory to non-Indian settlement? Or the role of Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Division? We could go on and on.

While it’s impossible to please everyone, wouldn’t a sketch of Will Rogers on the Oklahoma quarter be more appropriate?

Truth is the lack of choices is just another example of how our political leaders and bureaucrats are out of touch with the person on the street.

In retrospect, the scissor-tailed flycatcher and Indian blanket wildflower will serve a purpose.

But we lost an opportunity to show those in the other 49 states that Oklahoma’s history takes a back seat to none.

A state slogan of the past bragged that “Oklahoma is OK.”

The selection process for our commemorative quarter wasn’t OK — in fact, it wasn’t worth 25 cents.

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