The Nez Perce Tribal Flag
The following is a written description of the Nez Perce Flag and its origins. This document was written in the summer of 1990, by the NPTEC.
"The Tribal Flag has long been an important priority of the Nez Perce Tribe. The Flag does provide a symbol of sovereignty and perhaps; more importantly, of SURVIVAL! There are many Tribal Members who have supported the concept of a Tribal Flag, both past and present. The design of the Flag, however became more important due to an amendment to the Constitution of the Nez Perce Tribe. The Amendment adopted in May, 1983 changed the name from the "Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho" to the "Nez Perce Tribe". As a result the "Logo" required to be changed.
A contest was held on the date of November, 1983 to determine the new "Logo". Various local artists did submit their conceptions of the Logo. The present Logo was selected from the work as presented by John Conner. The official Tribal seal using the Logo was commissioned on the date of October, 1986.
Once the Logo was developed and approved, the Tribal Flag became a more pressing concern. The first design concept was reviewed by the Budget and Finance Sub-Committee in the Fiscal year 1988. The Tribe was also preparing to meet the deadline of the 1990 Idaho Centennial to develop the Flag.
The first design was submitted to the Budget and Finance Sub-committee in the month of September, 1989. The design was prepared by Gordon Bennett (DOB 10-30-55), an employee of the Forestry Department. The design incorporated the Tribal Logo and 1863 Reservation Boundaries. The 3 basic colors were red, yellow and black. After much discussion it was decided that the 3 colors would remain the same, with red as the field.
The first prototype was developed in time for the Idaho Centennial at Boise, ID during July 1990. The first flag that is currently being dedicated was sewn by the "Cut N Sew" Enterprise of the Coeur d' Alene Tribe."
As a part of the above document, in a hand written form. Written by NPTEC in April of 1991. The after thought is as follows:
"The Tribal Flag has been displayed during the NCAI during the month of November, 1991 as well during other functions of the Nez Perce Tribe. Thus, it is very appropriate that the Flag is being dedicated during this day."
The Nez Perce Tribal Flag was dedicated on April 13, 1991 at the Pi-Nee-Waus Gym.
At the dedication ceremony NPTEC chairman, Charles H. Hayes "Pete" gave the welcoming and the dedication.
Charles H. Hayes "Pete":
"Welcome! Today is a very special day in the history of the Nez Perce Tribe. Today we have the honor of dedicating our Tribal Flag and officially placing it for display among the many proud flags of this country."
"At this time I would like to call upon Mike Penney, who was very instrumental in the flags creation, to provide a brief historical overview of this flag."
(Mike Penny gives the historical overview - this speech was not officially recorded)
"Would VFW Post 10933 advance the colors?"
"Color guard ... Attention! Right Shoulder ... Arms! Nez Perce Drum ... Flag song please."
(Flag song and advancing of the colors)
"I would like to call up Connie Evans to assist me with the unfurling and display of the Tribal Flag."
(Color bearer lowers the Tribal Flag. Chairman Pete and Connie Evans each grasp a corner while color bearer turns the pike unfurling flag for display.)
"Color Guard ... Present Arms!"
"It is hereby declared that this banner shall, from this day forward, be recognized as the official flag of the Nez Perce Tribe. It shall be the emblem of all who have faithfully served this Tribe. Those living today, those who have preceded us, and especially those who gave their lives for their Tribe and country. May it always fly proudly and free."
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