Citing feedback from tribal citizens, the Cherokee Nation announced on Flag Day that it was reversing a recent executive order regarding the use of the Oklahoma flag on tribal property.
In a statement released Tuesday evening, Senior Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said that while he personally does not believe the Oklahoma flag should be flown on tribal property, he would restore its full-time use on all Cherokee Nation sites effective immediately.
“Reasonable people can disagree on this subject and they clearly do,” the statement said. “Over the past week, I have heard from many Cherokee citizens and members of our council whom I deeply respect. While some expressed their approval, the vast majority opposed.
“Opposition to my decision included concern that this decision would further divide the state and tribe at a time when good relations between the two governments are more important than ever.”
Hoskin’s original executive order, issued June 3, called for the Oklahoma flag to be displayed at sites owned or leased by the tribe or any of its entities only if state dignitaries or officials of the Oklahoma National Guardsmen were visiting in a professional capacity or with the approval of the tribe’s administration.
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Prior to the executive order, the state flag was among those regularly displayed at Cherokee Nation facilities that had enough space to accommodate more than one flag.
The order specifically referenced the tribe’s nation-to-nation relationship with the United States as justification for the move and was to take full effect Sept. 1.
In Tuesday’s statement, Hoskin pointed to the tribe’s pre-state existence as his personal objection to regularly flying the Oklahoma flag, saying it is inconsistent with tribal sovereignty.
The tribe has approximately 400,000 citizens, with more than 141,000 living within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation reservation.
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