Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Regional Dilemma

The Oklahoma flag.

I was born, and have lived pretty much my entire life in Oklahoma.  

Sure, I've 'stayed' in other places, but I have never been somewhere without the knowledge that as soon as that period of time was over that I'd be once again home in Oklahoma.

With that being said, it is interesting to me that I've lived in this state for 25 years, but have difficulty determining in which region my home state lies.

The Oklahoma State Capitol.

Some say Midwestern.  Others say Southern.  Some even say Southwestern, which seems to me to be the furthest fetched story of all.

I never really put it together how much of a controversy this topic was until I started trying to describe my state here on this blog over the past couple years, and I could never figure out if my state was technically "southern" or "midwestern."  I don't identify myself at all as "southwestern" so the thought never went through my mind.

With all these U.S. regional maps found on a quick google search, one might easily see why we 'Okies' might be confused.  

Why are there so many differing maps?!  And who's great idea was it to list Oklahoma and Arkansas as part of the "Gulf Coast?"  Do we look like coastal states to you?!?  Um, even our lakes had to be manmade.

So, am I a southern girl?  Or am I a Midwestern girl?  I'm certainly not a Southwestern girl, although it certainly seems a variety of maps seem to think I am.

Everyone appears to have their own opinion about this, and not many people can really agree.  Other southerners are very against the idea that Oklahoma could be considered "southern."  We don't host the capital of country and bluegrass music, we were one of the later states to join the United States, and we just aren't Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, or Louisiana.  In some ways, the easiest conclusion is to say that we're a Midwestern state since we host so much farmland, however, few of us could truly identity  ourselves as a "midwesterner."  If I had to guess for how most people in this state identify themselves, I would say we identify most southerners.

Oklahoma's state rock, the Barite Rose Rock

It is almost as if we are in a crossroads, though.  Perhaps those in the North-Eastern part of the state identify more as midwesterners, and those in the West as southwesterners.  My family is mostly from the Southeast, and I feel we identify as southerners.  

In some of my research, I found THIS ARTICLE one day that really explains well how I feel, plus someone else's personal study about our regional crossroads.  It is an interesting read if you have the time!

Do you strongly identify with a particular region where you're from?

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P.S.  Many of my personal photos posted in this blog post are photos I took for the Oklahoma Women Blogger's March instagram scavenger hunt!  Search the hashtag #okwbscavengergram to see more fun pictures from Oklahoma!


  1. I consider Michigan definitely "midwestern", and the fact that Oklahoma is so far away (it took us about 12-14 hours to hit Oklahoma when driving to TX) makes me feel it's not very midwestern. It's so funny how all the maps are cut up slightly differently!

  2. So many different maps?!?! No wonder you're confused!

  3. I'd be confused too, if Texas weren't so big I think it'd be easier to see OK as southern.

  4. this is so interesting! Sorry you have to go through this personality crisis. ;-)

  5. I know, right?! I guess we can just agree that we're the heartland and don't fit into any other category. haha


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