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Press release from
United Native America

On January 25, 2003, at 10:00 am United Native America will be at the Oklahoma State Capitol to raise the Cherokee Braves flag. This act will be done to show honor and respect to our true heritage. This act will also honor our ancestors who stood up for our civil rights against the US Government before, during and after the US Civil War against the Native Americans.

If during the act of raising the Cherokee Braves flag we are stopped or arrested, we are prepared to take the case all the way to the US. Supreme Court. No elected representative of the people has the right to call our true history racist for standing up for our freedoms against the federal government trying to annihilate the Indian race regardless of what flag we defended our civil rights under!

Representative Cox of Oklahoma stated, any flag associated with the Confederate flag family was a symbol of racism, he states the Cherokee Braves flag is part of that family of flags.

Representative Cox also compares anyone fighting against the US government during the Civil war should be looked upon as the terrorist attacking America today.

I have met with Rep. Cox in his office, I asked him to apologize for his remarks comparing our ancestors to the terrorist of today, he tried to say he did not mean it that way. Well, he did, our ancestors did fight against the US. Government in the civil war under the Cherokee Braves flag! He is on record not allowing the Cherokee Braves flag to fly on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds because he states it's part of the Confederate flag family. So, he is stating Indians are to be compared to terrorist attacking America today for their part in the civil war!

Our demand for Rep. Cox to resign from his elected office still stands! His degrading remarks toward the Native America community is a national sick joke! Rep. Cox needs to get a true American history education!

I informed Rep. Cox that it was the US. Government that used small pox and anthrax against the Native American community, the federal government shipped disease infected blankets and meat into the Indian tribes to kill as many men, women and children as they could, all this was done under the American flag we have today.

Rep. Cox stated to me, he did not know that the federal government did this to the Indians. I told Rep. Cox the state of Georgia had a state law stating that Indians could not live in the state legally on record up to 1980, he responded, he did not believe me, believe it Rep. Cox it's true American history!

The Cherokee Braves flag is a big part of the Cherokee people and their nation. The earliest fully documented Cherokee flag is that of the Cherokee Braves. This flag was presented to principal chief John Ross on October 7, 1861, by the Confederate Indian Commissioner, Albert Pike.

A similar flag has been attributed to the First Cherokee Mounted Rifles, possibly pointing to the base design as a de facto national flag for the Cherokee Nation (Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr., The Flags of the Confederacy, An Illustrated History, [Memphis, TN: St. Luke's Press & Broadfoot Publishing, 1988], 64). This flag was the standard design of the first Confederate national flag, three horizontal stripes of red over white over red bearing a blue canton upon which a ring of eleven white stars appeared.

The standard flag was modified for use by the Cherokees by the addition of a large red star in the center of the ring and that was surrounded by four smaller red stars. The five additional stars stood for the five "Civilized Tribes," while the large one specifically referred to the Cherokees.

In red letters on the white stripe appeared the words "Cherokee Braves." This flag, employing black lettering is used today by the unrecognized "Southern Cherokee Nation" based in Georgia (note: this is not the same as the state recognized Cherokee of Georgia which employ a distinctive flag of their own).

In United Native Americas quest to bring about a federal national holiday for Native Americans, Cherokee Chief Chad Smith is unwilling to call upon the federal government to stop using our tax dollars to pay for Columbus Day and not having it as a national holiday, he has stated to me, that would be pitting the Indian community against the Italians.

The Cherokee Nation does not recognize Columbus Day as all Indian nations do not. Seventeen states do not recognize Columbus Day as a state paid holiday, Oklahoma is one of those states.

Cherokee Chief Chad Smith's view on not wanting to change Columbus Day to Native American day is not in line with the vast majority of Native Americans to include most Americans.

Columbus is the equal of Hitler to the Native American community, there would never be a tax paid holiday for Hitler in America for the German American community, nor should there be a national holiday for Columbus in America!

United Native America has several holiday resolutions in support of bringing about a national holiday for Native Americans from Indian nations around the country, they all call for changing Columbus Day to Native American Day except the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation. The state of South Dakota has changed Columbus Day to Native American Day.

Oklahoma State representative Wayne Pettigrew has informed United Native America he will take action to bring about a state bill making the second Monday in October Native American Day, this is the date Columbus Day is recognized by the federal government.

United Native America will work with Rep. Pettigrew to bring about this bill as soon as possible! It's about time we had an elected Oklahoma representative to have the back bone to stand up and tell it like it is as to Columbus.

Representative Cox, United Native America recommends the two web sites listed below to start your education about the Native American community and their true history.

American Indian Contributions to the World Main Page

Mike L. Graham
Founder United Native America



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