Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
An unstrung bow, encompassing three arrows and a smoking pipe-hatchet, symbolizes the history and tradition of the Choctaw Indians.
Peaceable by nature, the Choctaws smoked their pipe-hatchets (or tomahawks), as they sat in solemn deliberation around council fires.
The three arrows symbolize the three great Choctaw Chiefs – Apuckshunnubbe, Pushmataha, and Moshulatubbee – who signed the Treaty of Doak’s Stand (1820), by which the United States assigned the tribe a vast domain west (all of Southern Oklahoma) in exchange for land in Mississippi. Ten years later, after moving west, the Choctaws divided their new domain into three districts and each district was named for one of these great chiefs.
Though peace loving, the Choctaws would string their bows speedily and set forth to defend themselves staunchly if they were provoked.
Provision was made for this seal at the noted Choctaw constitutional convention held at Doaksville in 1860. This seal has been used on all official papers of the Choctaw Nation since that time.
References: Muriel H. Wright, “The Great Seal of The Choctaw Nation,” The Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume XXXIII (Winter, 1955-56); original painting by Guy C. Reid.