Last modified: 2017-08-21 by rick wyatt
Keywords: comanche | oklahoma | native american |
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image by Thanh-Tâm Tê, 7 January 1999
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Comanche - Oklahoma
The Comanche, the "Lords of the Plains", once dominated an area that included much of present-day Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and northern Mexico. The fiercest of fighters and among the last Tribes to submit to reservations (ENAT, 68-71), they were excellent horsemen, keeping large herds and introducing the horse to neighboring Tribes after acquiring it from the Spanish. Today the Comanche Nation is centered on Lawton, Oklahoma, where the modern Comanche engage in farming and earn income from leasing mineral rights.
© Donald Healy 2008
The flag of the Comanche Nation celebrates its historical status as the dominant Tribe of the south-central United States. The field is divided vertically, with blue at the left, red at the right. (Two versions of the flag exist and one is double-sided, with blue on the left on both sides.)
The seal of the Comanche Nation also appears with the blue portion always to the left. According to the Public Information Office of the Comanche Tribe, the flag may date to 1991. The seal is a Comanche battle shield divided roughly in half (seal provided by The Comanche News, newsletter of the Comanche Nation, Lawton, Oklahoma). The left portion is blue; the right portion is yellow and bears the image of a Comanche warrior on horseback in red to represent the name given to all Native Americans by the European settlers-the "red man" (Jamesena Stops, Editor, The Comanche News). The undulating border between the halves represents a snake moving backwards. According to their legends, the Comanche were once known as the "Snakes". The blue represents loyalty, while the yellow recalls the brightness of the sun and a state of happiness.
The blue and red colors are derived from a British wool trade blanket, the wrap preferred by the Comanche when riding the Plains over a century ago. The blanket recalls the Comanche's life without boundaries, a time when they were the true rulers of the Plains. A critical element in many Comanche ceremonies, the blanket also boasts of the prowess of the Comanche as horsemen. Four feathers appear on the shield when it is used as the seal of the Comanche Nation. As with many other tribes, they recall the sacred number four.
The Comanche are using their seal and flag with increasing zeal. In April 1995 they issued license plates for vehicles registered to tribal members and based upon tribal lands ("Comanche Tribal License Tags Are Here", The Comanche News, July, 1995, 1). The central element of the new plates is the seal of the Comanche Nation. In July 1995 the Comanche officially opened their "Comanche Veterans Memorial" in Lawton ("Comanche Veterans Memorial Dedicated", The Comanche News, Aug. 1995, 1).
Two central flagpoles fly the American and the Comanche flags. A version of the flag with a variant seal flies at the Flag Plaza in Oklahoma City. A yellow circle replaces the serrated edge of the shield. Across the top of the circle, in black, is "Comanche Nation", while in slightly smaller letters below is "Lords of the Southern Plains". The seal is divided equally in half, blue to the left and red (not yellow) to the right. The Indian on horseback is shown in yellow and greatly enlarged to provide more detail.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 1 January 2008