Published on October 18, 2012 by Amy
In the late 1970’s, as other Indian nations in northeast Oklahoma were developing and displaying tribal flags, it was decided that the Quapaw Tribe needed a flag as well. The Tribe’s Business Manager at the time, Lloyd Buffalo, and the Tribe’s Secretary-Bookkeeper, Barbara Kyser Collier, developed various ideas, and together with tribal member Walter King designed the Tribal flag. The original design was drawn by Barbara on cardboard. The first Tribal flags were produced on stiff canvas, on which a local artist painted the buffalo.
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The four eagle feathers represent the cardinal points of the land, the number four being sacred to the Tribe. The Quapaw hold the eagle in high esteem because it flies the highest of any creature, and thereby the Quapaw People believe it talks with God, and the eagle feather is used in many ceremonies of the Tribe.
The red and blue background of the flag represents the blanket used in meetings of the Native American Church. This blanket is made from the old trade cloth that was used by the Tribe for clothing such as leggings, breechcloths, and skirts for women. The Quapaws were one of the first tribes to adopt the Native American Church as a form of worship. The Quapaw helped spread this form of worship to other tribes, and other tribes have meetings that give special prayers for the Quapaws welfare.