The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) is a sovereign nation within the United States and, therefore, we are able to do most all of the things that any other nation can do. This includes writing and adopting an official tribal flag code and an official pledge of allegiance to the tribal flag. Our flag is a symbol of our sovereignty and deserves the same amount of thought and respect as the U.S flag on tribal lands.
I love America and I would never do anything to dishonor our beloved country, but as an EBCI enrolled member I love my tribe and all of our tribal symbols including the flag. By adopting an official flag code, the flags that are flown all across the Qualla Boundary would become uniform and all displays would have to adhere to the new code and our flag would be displayed honorably across our tribal lands. An official pledge would further set apart our flag and our tribe from other nations and states and give our tribal members and officials another way to show their support of our nation at tribal events from beginning the school day, to monthly council sessions.
I have written a draft of a potential tribal pledge of allegiance and it is attached below.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and to the sovereign nation for which it stands. One people, six townships, under God with Peace and Prosperity for all. To my tribe I pledge my loyalty, my service, and my life.”
Having mismatched seals displayed across the Boundary makes our Tribe look disorganized and unsynchronized. I would like to see our tribal officials do something to expedite the long overdue process of swapping out old seals for the new one. I also believe if there is not already one in place, we should also adopt an ordinance that outlines official uses and a description of the seal to ensure uniformity whenever the seal is displayed by both tribal government and private tribal citizens. Our newly revised and adopted seal is magnificent and it should be displayed with uniformity and pride by our Tribe.
Dallas J. Bennett