Don Healy's

The Miccosukee

The Mickosukee are a south Florida tribe closely related to their neighbors, the Seminole. They officially number under 500 individuals. 

The flag of the Mickosukee is one of the few well known Native American tribal flags. It was included in Dr. Whitney Smith's "Flag Book of the United States", until recently the only source of information on Native American tribal flags (FBUS, 259). 

The flag of the Mickosukee nation is a simple flag of four horizontal stripes, white over black over red and yellow. As with many other Native American tribal flags that have four elements in them, the symbolism of the four stripes points to the four major directions, white for south, black for north, red means west and yellow east. Many tribes also see these four colors as standing for the races of man. As such these colors are imbued with a magical essence in the eyes of many Native Americans. In the television special "The War Against the Indian" (Discovery Channel, Feb. 5, 1995), television and movie actor Graham Greene, an Oneida, explains the four colors. Yellow is for the Asian, with whom the seas are associated, black for the African who job it is to protect the air, white for the European who is the keeper of the fire and red for the Indian whose job it is to protect the earth. 

The seal of the Mickosukee nation bears a chickee, the traditional home of the tribes that inhabit the Everglades. It should be noted how similar both the flag and seal of the Mickosukee are to their cousins and fellow Everglade dwellers, the Seminole. 

The Mickosukee reservation today lies just west of Miami and borders the upper reaches of the Everglades. This huge swamp that served them for many years was a source of food, clothing, shelter and as a hideout from federal forces during the long duration of the Seminole Wars in which the Mickosukee were major players. Today, the major fighting done by the Mickosukee is with alligators. The mickosoukee entertain tourists with demonstrations of alligator wrestling on their reservation. Unlike their brothers, the Seminole, the Mickosukee have never signed a formal peace treaty with the government of the United States, therefore they have never renounced their claims to much of the land in southern Florida. 

Don Healy, Bisbee, Az 85603