The official flag of the Navajo nation was established in 1968. The design is that of a large rainbow which encompasses the entire flag in a 180-degree arc. Within the arc of the rainbow are four mountains, each with a different color. They are white, blue, yellow, and black. Between the mountains is the outline of the Navajo Reservation, colored in copper.
Within the reservation outline, centered on the flag itself, is the official seal of the Navajo Nation.
The flag was designed by a student in Mexico, named Jay Degroat, and was selected from a total of 140 different entries that were generated by a flag competition.
The Story of the Navajo Flag
The elements of the Navajo flag help to tell the “Story of the People.” It is said that the first world was small, centered on an island, and floating in the middle of four seas. These were the first people, the rulers of the seas, including mist beings and other creature people.
They journeyed to the second world, the blue world, which was inhabited by birds and mammals. The rulers of the second world were offended by the presence of the first-world people, so they were asked to leave.
Man opened a portal to the yellow world, the third world, where two rivers formed a cross. Here were the sacred mountains. More animals lived here as well, but a great flood caused great devastation.
Eventually, people arrived in the fourth world, the White world. This would become the foundation of modern history. True death came into existence. There were many monsters here, but they were eventually turned away by the humans born in this world.
What Does the Rainbow Represent on the Navajo Flag?
The rainbow is incorporated into the Navajo flag as an element of sovereignty. Even though the tribe has been essentially relegated to a specific border, under the rule and guidance of the U.S. government, the Navajo people still see themselves as a self-governing entity. There is pride in being able to set the direction on one’s life then, now, and in the future.
In 1995, the Navajo flag would become the first tribal flag to reach space.
The many elements of the Navajo flag make it one of the most inspiring representations of any nation, making it a truly special component of an identity.