Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

Flag xa-grndro
Proportions Unknown, apparently 3:5
Adopted ca. 1983
Design A black-and-white charge, nearly the height of the flag, is centered horizontally on a white field.  It consists of a circular seal half the height of the flag with five feathers hanging below it.A unifying black outer ring encircles the main image of the seal.  Eight compass points immediately inside the ring are formed by black inward-pointing triangles. Inside the compass points is a wider black ring with “THE CONFEDERATED TRIBES” above and “OF GRAND RONDE” below, in white. All text is in block letters; the second phrase’s letters are slightly smaller.  In the center of the seal is an image of a mountain, mostly in black but with white highlights.

The feathers are white with black tips, with tassels at their ends. Equally spaced, they descend from approximately the southwest to southeast compass points, their tips forming a slight curve.

Symbolism The seal combines historic, geographic, and spiritual aspects of the Grand Ronde Confederated Tribes.  The multiple compass points allude to the 23 different bands and tribes that form the Confederation, drawn from all over the Oregon Country.  The five main tribes—Umpqua, Molalla, Rogue River, Kalapuya, and Shasta—are honored by the five white-and-black eagle feathers. According to the tribes, the mountain in the center “is Spirit Mountain, where our people went on their Vision Quests, or to seek their tomanawis, or ‘spirit’”.  The mountain holds deep symbolic and spiritual significance for a people emerging from a difficult 150-year odyssey during which their fate often hung in precarious balance.  The Grand Ronde Confederation has named its casino “Spirit Mountain”.
The tribe’s flag resulted from a contest held shortly after the Grande Ronde were reinstated to federally-recognized status; the winner received $50.
Designer Unknown
The design has been revised with added color and text, seen here in a tribal flag display at the State Capitol in Salem.  Photo from tribal website.

The design has been revised with added color and text, seen here in a tribal flag display at the State Capitol in Salem. Photo from tribal website.

In 2015 a controversy erupted when the school board of Willamina, Oregon balked at a request made by tribal liaison Angela Fasana to hang the tribal flag in the high school’s gym.

  • Source:  Flags of the Native Peoples of the United States (Donald T. Healy, NAVA: 1997)
  • Information provided to Mr. Healy by: Jackie Whisler, Administrative Assistant, Grand Ronde Tribal Headquarters
  • Researcher:  Ted Kaye

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