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Southern Ute - Colorado (U.S.)

Native American

Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: southern ute | ute | colorado | native american |
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[Southern Ute - Colorado flag] image by Donald Healy, 31 January 2008

See also:

The Band

[SOuthern Ute of Colorado map]
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy

Southern Ute - Colorado

The Ute Nation, for whom Utah is named, today occupies three reservations spreading across Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico (ENAT, 244-245). The Southern Ute Reservation in Colorado is home mainly to two bands, the Mouache and the Capote.

© Donald Healy 2008

The Flag

The flag of the Southern Ute Tribe is light blue with "SOUTHERN UTE TRIBE" in white across the top of the flag (photo provided by The Southern Ute Executive Office). Centered below is the tribal seal which represents the "circle of life"; several elements within it represent different facets of Southern Ute life. The seal’s edge is a rope-like braid of light blue and white. Immediately within the circle is "GREAT SEAL OF THE SOUTHERN UTE INDIAN TRIBE" above, and "IGNACIO, COLO." below, all in red.

Centered in the seal is the profile of a Ute chief standing for the entire Tribe, facing left, in red, orange, black, blue, and white - the colors of the rainbow and of nature. Surrounding the chief’s profile are the natural resources of the reservation and cultural icons of the Ute people, all in natural colors. Directly below the profile is a peace pipe from which hang two feathers. The pipe indicates that the Ute are a peace-loving people, while the two feathers represent the "Great Spirit" and the "healing power" that comes from a single peaceful people. Below the pipe are two leafed branches that recall the green things of the earth and the harmony people share with nature.

Below the pipe and branches is a small Colorado state flag. The inclusion of the Colorado emblem is unique - no other Native flag or seal depicts a state flag, and only a few include any state symbols on their seals or flags. (Many tribes purposely exclude the state flag in parades and similar events.) To the left of the profile are a gas well and two grazing sheep; to the right are a tractor and a grazing steer. Together these symbolize the main pursuits of the Ute tribe - agriculture, ranching, and mining. Above the profile a mountain range recalls the Ute homeland, with an elk and bear, animals that share the land with the Ute. The sun watches over the Tribe while the river stands for the six rivers that cross the reservation. All symbols appear in natural colors.

The Executive Office believes that the flag and seal were adopted in 1970 or 1971 when a contest was held to choose A NAME for the Piño Nuche Lodge and Restaurant, one of the major businesses on the reservation.

[Information concerning the flag and seal of the Southern Ute Tribe (Letter, Eugene Naranjo, 2 Feb. 1995) comes from two Ute tribal artists, Ben Watts and Russell Box, Sr.]

© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 31 January 2008