Last modified: 2017-08-21 by rick wyatt
Keywords: catawba | south carolina | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 27 December 2007
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Catawba - South Carolina
The Catawbas, or "People of the River", are an ancient people that has lived in the border regions between the Carolinas for centuries. The federal government revoked their recognition in 1962 and restored it in the mid-1990s.
The Catawba are known for their beautiful pottery, which serves as the principal device on the tribal seal and flag. The seal of the Catawba Nation dates from 1974-75 when the Executive Director of the Catawba needed official stationery. Wanda George Warren, a high school student, designed an appropriate seal for the Tribe in her commercial art class. She contacted leaders and tribal elders for ideas on symbolism, and offered several designs, one of which was selected. That seal (with slight artistic modifications in 1994) has been in use ever since (survey response, Dewey L. Adams, Catawba Indian Nation).
© Donald Healy 2008
A pale orange pot centered on the circular seal represents Catawba pottery. On it is an image of Chief Haigler, first chief of the Catawba Nation, in burnt orange. Behind the pot runs the Catawba River in blue and the lands of the
Catawba in green. Ringing the central device is an orange band with "Great Seal of the Catawba Indian Nation" in black. Beyond this is a yellow serrated "sunburst" ring, backed by a burnt-orange field. The entire seal is ringed by a narrow black band.
When used as a flag, the seal is on a burnt-orange field recalling terra-cotta pottery. The Catawba people thus bring the symbol of their past - the pottery - into the newest symbol of their sovereignty - the flag.
A historic flag associated with the Catawba is the banner of the "Catawba Rangers", who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Of blue silk with a light blue silk fringe, it had two scrolls - the upper bearing "OUR BATTLE CRY", the lower bearing "LIBERTY OR DEATH", both in gold lettering. Between the scrolls were an old-style gun, two crossed swords, and a red star in the center flanked by gold letters 'S' on one side, 'C' on the other. Below this was a wreath held together by a hand pointing upward to the star. On the reverse, the top scroll bore "CATAWBA RANGERS" and the center bore a Palmetto Palm, symbol of South Carolina, with a snake stretched, ready to strike from the grass beneath. A ring of red stars and gold "beads" circled the central emblem (Confederate Veteran, 170, undated excerpt).
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 27 December 2007