Symbolism of the Healing Flag

Sophie Rault

The colors and design elements of the Healing Flag have deep roots in Indian lore: Yellow, Red, Black, and White,  are traditional Sacred Colors. Because they often stand for the four directions east, west, north, south the four colors evoke the full universe, encompassing all creation. The Medicine Wheel reinforces this universal symbolism with the ancient idea of perfection, inherent in a circle. Tree-Song teaches that a Medicine Wheel is a physical manifestation of Spiritual energy.  An outward expression of an internal dialogue. A mirror in which we can better SEE what is going on within us. It is a wheel of protection and enables us, and allows us, to gather surrounding energies into a focal point and to commune with Spirit, Self and Nature.

By combining the universal reach of the Four Sacred Colors with the physical perfection and spiritual energy symbolized by the Medicine Wheel, the Healing Flag reaches out to all Native Americans, offering beauty, spirituality and focused energy. Indeed, since redemption from suffering and the thirst for healing spirituality are aspirations common to of all mankind, the flag embraces all peoples.

I originally designed the Healing Flag to salute the work of an extraordinary group of people at the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations in Spokane, Washington. This wonderfully caring Lodge dedicated itself to helping young people conquer the vicious grip of alcohol and substance abuse. Their example inspired me to spend months working with the Lodge, reading about its mission and discovering the beauty and strength of Native symbols.

From time to time I receive news from American friends telling how the Healing Flag helped lighten the burden of suffering. Then I feel the quiet joy of a mother watching my children go forth into the world to become helpful young adults.