By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
A new flagpole plaza has been constructed in front of the EBCI Council House. It was dedicated during a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 4.
“The creation of this flag plaza is to honor our nation, our state and our tribal nation,” said Commander Lew Harding, Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post 143.
He said the plaza will be to honor tribal leadership throughout the history of the Tribe. “It’s a labor of love really.”
Commander Harding thanked the 42-member EBCI Facilities Management team that worked on the project as well as architect Bob Proctor who worked pro bono, stone mason Poke Squirrel, and Nativescapes who finished the plaza’s landscaping.
Principal Chief Michell Hicks commented, “It makes me so proud to be part of the Cherokee people today. It’s about the pride. That’s what this flag ceremony here is about today.”
He thanked his wife, First Lady Marsha Hicks, for the idea for the project. “I want to thank Marsha. She’s a real stickler of how a flag should fly.”
Chief Hicks related that the stone that decorates the plaza was salvaged from the Boundary Tree project several years ago.
To officially open the plaza, Maj. Robert E. Ricks, Sgt. Jaime Bueno, Sgt. Hannah Eckerd and Sgt. Kendawa Ruckman raised the United States flag followed by the flags of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the State of North Carolina.
Then, members of the Post 143 Color Guard fired a seven-gun salute in honor of the plaza.