Citing feedback from tribal citizens, the Cherokee Nation announced on Flag Day that it is reversing course on a recent executive order regarding the use of the Oklahoma flag on tribal property.
In a statement released Tuesday evening, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said that while he personally does not believe the Oklahoma flag should be flown over the tribe’s properties, he would reinstate its full-time use at all Cherokee Nation sites effective immediately.
“Reasonable people can disagree on this subject and they plainly do,” the statement says. “During the past week I have heard from many Cherokee citizens and members of our council who I respect deeply. While some have expressed approval, the vast majority were opposed.
“Opposition to my decision included a concern that the move further divided the state and tribe at a time when good relations between both governments are more important than ever.”
Hoskin’s original executive order, issued on June 3, called for the Oklahoma flag to be displayed at sites owned or leased by the tribe or one of its entities only if state dignitaries or officials with the Oklahoma National Guard were visiting in their professional capacities 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 slated to be in full effect by Sept. 1.
In Tuesday’s statement, Hoskin pointed to the tribe’s pre-statehood existence as his personal objection to flying the Oklahoma flag on a regular basis, claiming that it is inconsistent with tribal sovereignty.
The tribe has about 400,000 citizens, including more than 141,000 who live within the Cherokee Nation reservation boundaries.
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