MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

November 27, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Medal design shows flawed seal

Honoring Cherokees, who served as code talkers during World War II, with a Congressional Gold Medal is an honor long past due. However the Cherokee Nation Tribal councilors, cabinet members and Cherokee Nation employees who helped design the Cherokee code talkers coin did not do their homework.

The reverse side of the coin shows a flawed Cherokee Nation seal. The seven point “star,” which represents the fire of the original clans, is upside down. If the “designers” had checked, they would have found their error and corrected it. (Oklahoma Historical Society’s Chronicles of Oklahoma, December 1940, Official Seals of the Five Civilized Tribes by Muriel H. Wright).

Speaking as a veteran, to be awarded a flawed medal from the country and tribe I fought to protect would not be an honor. It would be a contemptible insult to be “honored” with a flawed medal. Correct the medal and award it to the men and women who served honorably during World War II.

FYI — the Cherokee Nation seal has been flawed since the first term of the Smith administration. It was changed to reflect the “State of Sequoyah Convention” held every year at the NSU Indian Symposium ... and no one at the Cherokee Nation noticed or cared.

Billy R. McCoy

Tahlequah

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