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Poarch Band of Creek - Alabama (U.S.)
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image by Donald Healy, 27 January 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Poarch Band of Creek - Alabama
Living in southern Alabama, the Poarch Creek Indians number over 2,000.
© Donald Healy 2008
Their flag was created in a collaborative effort between John Kemp, Buford Rolin, Katherine Sells, and Creek Chairman Eddie L. Tullis, and may well be the only tribal flag with a Registered Trademark(®) symbol on it.
In the poem "Tribal Symbol", tribal member Larry Jackson describes the flag:
Red stands for the red sticks a fighting man
The Tribe's seal appears on the medium green background of the flag. The seal consists of a black-edged white cross with pointed ends pointing in the four cardinal directions. The Poarch Creek call the bars of this cross logs". A yellow ring, edged in black, overlays the cross. In the ring curve "POARCH" above and INDIANS" below, separated by small red circles. Within the ring, on the center of the horizontal "log", is "CREEK". The lettering is red, in a red typeface trade-named "Southern". A small black ® appears to the right of the lower end of the vertical "log".
He would fight to the death for his land
The white in the feather meant a friendly clan
They lived near the rivers and played in the sand
The circle of gold stands for the place we live
With lovely sunset
And the land has so much to give
Green is for the color of the corn and the trees
Corn for life and trees for seed
Direction of travel is shown by the logs
No matter which you take
It must come from the heart
The line of red is blood in the vein,
Throughout all the nations, all is not the same
The feathers are the nations, nations of two
Lifestyles are different but the words are true
The cross and the ring fit exactly inside an imaginary square, set on its corner, with each side roughly one-third the length of the flag. Red stripes, forming the middle third of the "logs", recall the red saltire (diagonal cross) of Alabama. The vertical stripes start near the center of the disk, while the horizontal stripes start only at the end of the yellow outer ring.
At the ends of the horizontal "log" hang two feathers. The feather at left is black with a red central element and white accents and has a jagged red trim at the top; it is attached to the horizontal log with three beads of red, white, and red. To the left side of the feather are two black-bordered colored beads - the top one yellow, the bottom one red - attached with thin black ties to the left end of the log. At the bottom of the feather are two more black-bordered beads, attached with ties to the lower tip of the feather; the upper bead is red, and the lower bead is yellow.
The feather at right is also black with white accents but has a white central element and a white jagged trim at the top; it is attached to the horizontal log with three beads of yellow, red, and yellow. To the right and at the bottom of the feather is the same arrangement of beads as on the left feather, but with reversed colors.
According to the Poarch Creek, "the circle symbolizes the Circle of Life; the green background stands for the forest and the green corn from which the Creek gathered their subsistence; the four logs mark the four directions. The white feather represents the white or friendly Creek town and clans, while the red feather denotes the red warrior towns and clans. The red strips symbolize the blood of the Creek spent in their efforts to maintain their homelands. The red and yellow beads stand for trading with
[Thanks to Daniel McGhee and Lori Findley from the Community Relations Department of the Poarch Creek for the explanation for the symbolism of their tribal flag and the poem.]
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 25 January 2008