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Yankton Sioux - South Dakota (U.S.)

Native American

Last modified: 2017-08-23 by rick wyatt
Keywords: yankton sioux | sioux | south dakota | native american |
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[Yankton Sioux - South Dakota flag] image by Donald Healy, 1 February 2008



See also:


The Band

[Yankton Sioux - South Dakota map]
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy

Yankton Sioux - South Dakota

The Yankton Sioux's reservation is in South Dakota bordering Nebraska on the Missouri River. While in their native dialect they are Nakota, other Sioux groups call themselves Lakota or Dakota. All three terms mean "allies". Officially, the Yankton Sioux Tribe is called Ihanktonowan Dakota Kyate.

Donald Healy 2008


The Flag

The Yankton Sioux, or Nakota people, adopted a unique tribal symbol on 24 September 1975. With minor alterations this symbol serves as a seal, logo, and flag. The flag is red and bears various designs in yellow (photo provided by The Flag Research Center). It was designed by Gladys L. Moore, a Yankton Sioux. On the left side, reaching from the bottom to top, is a stylized peace pipe. Its tip just touches the top center of the flag at an angle. The angular section recalls the figure of a Nakota tepee (Yankton Sioux Official Tribal Insignia - The Design, flyer, n.d.). On the right side are two yellow stripes: the upper one comes in from the right and ends in a curved tip, the lower one starts at the center of the flag, goes toward the right and also has a curved tip. These elements form stylized letters, "Y" in yellow and "S" in red, standing for "Yankton Sioux".

Crossing the yellow portions of the flag approximately one-third from the bottom is an undulating red line. This symbolizes a "prayer" to bind the home in love and safety, with red the symbol of life. Red was traditionally painted around the lower parts of tepees to indicate that visitors would be welcomed, or to identify a tepee as one of several in which a feast would be held. Red thus projects an image of life and friendliness. To the Sioux, yellow signifies happiness in the home and suggests a happy, friendly tepee in the sun.

When printed as a logo or seal, three legends are added to the flag design. Above the first yellow bar is added a yellow stripe with "YANKTON SIOUX TRIBE"; across the center of the right end a second yellow bar appears with "Land of the Friendly People of the Seven Council Fires"; toward the base of the right end a short yellow bar reads "1858". All these inscriptions are in black. On the flag, the writing appears directly on the flag's red background without the extra yellow bars.

Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 1 February 2008