Okla. flag soars bigger than Texas
It takes more than 50 members of Alpha Phi Omega, OU’s service fraternity, to haul a 300-plus pound flag across Owen Field prior to kickoff of each football game.
The $18,125 state flag spans 130 feet by 80 feet and was introduced as part of OU’s pregame ritual in 2001, said flag chair Alek Krautmann.
“The idea of a giant state of Oklahoma flag came out of the Athletic Department and President [David] Boren’s office,” said Krautmann, a meteorology senior. “They were looking to create a new OU tradition ... a big one.”
Krautmann said while planning the flag’s creation, Boren and supporters wanted the Oklahoma flag to be larger than the University of Texas’ Texas state flag which is 125 feet by 75 feet.
Boren still jokes of the “secret intelligence” used to discover the size of the Texas flag, Krautmann said.
“Being on the field with 80,000 plus of your closest friends cheering for you is amazing,” said John Postic, architecture senior and four-year member. “Sooner spirit is a tangible thing in that moment.”
Before every game, the team gets together on the practice field two hours before kickoff to warm up and let the newest members get a feel of the flag before actually running them, Krautmann said.
“The coolest part of being on the flag team is not what you might expect: it’s that the university entrusted us with the flag,” said John Paul Cook, a mathematics graduate student and seven-year member of the flag team. “That APO was deemed worthy of this great responsibility, and that we have faithfully carried it out.”