Nanticoke Flag

Green over blue represents the Nanticoke Indian Association members family owned land, located on the north shore of the Indian River.

The Nanticoke School represents our preliminary driving force to become legally incorporated as Nanticokes, as far as the Delaware Assembly would allow in the 1800’s. In that time period, Delaware had a bi-racially segregated school system. Children either went to a school provided for White students or one provided for African American students. To avoid being classified as either White or African American, or just left out altogether, the Incorporated Body was legally recognized by the Delaware Assembly on March 10, 1881. We finally won the legal rights to build our very own Nanticoke school on Nanticoke land.

The corm mortar/pestle and eel pot represent the two most predominant ways of earning money for Nanticoke families at that time. Farming and fishing, two of our most traditional ways of life, enabled our ancestors to buy back the land that is still family owned today.

The center section of an American flag represents our American Patriotism. Our people have loved this land before there was a United States of America. Nanticokes have always felt a strong loyalty to, and duty to protect, the earth that we came from. These are some of the principles that gave birth to our larger American nation. Despite our differences and struggles in history, we are now also a part of this American Nation. Nanticoke veterans have served this country in battle, under an American Flag, on native and foreign soil throughout history.

Some gave their lives while other returned home to enjoy this land in the same way that Non-Nanticoke American veterans did. The willingness to serve, and/or go to war for your country had been the most revered tradition among Nanticokes and Native Americans in general. This tradition will continue, and the American flag displayed inside Nanticoke flag will remind us of it.

There are thirty-two white shell wampum beads that border the American flag portion. Thirty-one beads represent the original thirty-one Incorporated Body Members. The one remaining bead represents the Nanticoke Community members that were not listed as Incorporated Body Members on that date.

“Nanticoke Nation”: The work nation can be defined as (1) a community if people collected of one or more nationalities and possessing a coming territory, government, history culture, and language; or (2) a tribe or federation of tribes (as in American Indians.) As history teaches us, Native American people have been pressured to move around to make way for new settlers of the land. The Nanticoke people of today are descended from a large nucleus of Nanticokes, possibly joined by surrounding smaller related, and now defunct bands that were pressured to merge with the main body in order to survive. The result is our Nanticoke Nation of today.

“Of Indian River Hundred DE”: Our Nanticoke community is mainly comprised of Indian River Hundred

“Halac’quow Ewapaw’gup Allappah’wee”: These are the Nanticoke words for “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.” These words symbolically mean we were here in the past, we are here now, and we will be here in the future. The words take from a Nanticoke/Choptank language vocabulary list documented by Dr. William vans Murray of Cambridge, Maryland in 1792. A Nanticoke/Choptank known as Mrs. Mulberry translated these words among many more.

“1881”: This is the year that the Incorporated Body was legally recognized rebuilding a new foundation for a more organized and self governing community of Nanticoke people.

The Nanticoke Flag was designed by Matthew Harmon.

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