Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united keetoowah band | cherokee | oklahoma | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 1 February 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee - Oklahoma
The Keetoowah Cherokee are a political entity separate from the Cherokee Nation although both are based in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The Keetoowah are recognized federally as a separate Tribe, as is common among tribes that have geographically separated branches, but it is unique to have separate recognition for bands of the same tribe in the same location.
© Donald Healy 2008
The tribal seal was originally adopted in 1968 and modified in 1991. The tribal flag places the seal on a white background, signifying that the Keetoowah people are at peace. The current chief, John Ross, explains the seal of the
Keetoowah as three circles surrounding a central blue disk (seal provided by the United Keetoowah Band). The outer circle contains nineteen black seven-pointed stars on green. The middle circle has "UNITED KEETOOWAH BAND" above, and the same in Cherokee script below, in black on orange. The inner circle contains eleven black seven-pointed stars on yellow. The central light blue disk features a seven-pointed star, with its points divided red-yellow and surrounded by a
green oak-branch wreath. Around the central seal in the field are four black seven-pointed stars. These four stars recall the cardinal directions, a recurring theme in Native flags and seals, although these stars are oriented to the northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest.
Chief Ross explained that the thirty black stars within the rings stand for the extinguished campfires of the original Keetoowah villages in their homelands of North Carolina and Georgia. They act as a reminder of the Keetoowah's ties to their original lands. The three circles stand for the colorful history of the Keetoowah. The seven-pointed central star, as used by many Cherokee bands, stands for the seven original clans of the Cherokee, while the oak branches symbolize strength [see Cherokee of Oklahoma, Chickamauga Cherokee].
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 1 February 2008