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Clovis, New Mexico (U.S.)

Curry County

Last modified: 2023-12-30 by rick wyatt
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[Flag of Clovis, New Mexico] image by Masao Okazaki, 2 July 2019

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Description of the flag and discussion about a new flag

The city of Clovis has informed me that it does not have a flag.
Valentin Poposki, 1 May 2009

From Eastern New Mexico News:

New flag needed!
July 7, 2016

The Clovis city commission is agreeable to the idea of a new flag for the city. Commissioners just arenít sure what that flag should look like, or how they can make sure citizens have the final say on the process. The Clovis flag, out of town for display at the New Mexico Municipal League conference, is yellow with the city seal. The city has only one flag and it is almost always in storage at city offices.

Designs suggested to supplant the flag were a mix of red, yellow and sometimes blue overlays with various graphics. Commissioners werenít sure what to incorporate among the Zia symbol, the state name or a Clovis point. Clovis points are projectile points first found in Clovis in the late 1920s. They date back to the North American Paleo-Indian period about 13,500 years ago. Should they become part of the flag, Lansford admitted an education effort would likely be required.

New flag not needed!
August 4, 2016
Commission decides against changes to city flag

By an 8-0 vote Thursday, the commission opted to keep the rarely-used ó and, prior to commission discussion, largely-unknown ó flag the way it is. The cityís flag is the city seal against a yellow backdrop. A Clovis High student had approached Mayor David Lansford earlier in the summer about possibly updating the flag, and Lansford brought it to the commission during the July 7 meeting.

There are two known copies of the flag. One is currently in Hobbs for the annual New Mexico Municipal League conference. The second was discovered in a closet by city staff and brought to the meeting for display. Commissioner Chris Bryant addressed the matter and spoke about the sealís importance to the community. The seal is a Zia symbol and other smaller symbols ó a handshake to represent partnership, the Clovis High Wildcat logo, a cow head and crops to represent agriculture, a train to represent the railroad and aircraft to represent Cannon Air
Force Base.
Masao Okazaki, 2 July 2019

I recently read your article detailing the incorporation of what is commonly referred to as the "Zia symbol" in the City of Clovis Flag. While your article presents an interesting perspective on the matter, I would like to share my concerns about the use of this symbol and the implications it carries for both the Indigenous communities and the principles of religious freedom, even from a Christian perspective.

Firstly, it's essential to clarify that the symbol often identified as the "Zia symbol" is, in fact, an appropriated symbol from the Pueblo Indigenous peoples of early New Mexico. This symbol has deep cultural and spiritual significance to these communities. The use of this symbol in the City of Clovis Flag without proper recognition, consultation, or permission from these Indigenous groups is a clear case of cultural appropriation.

Moreover, the transformation of this sacred symbol into a cross, which is a fundamental Christian religious symbol, can be seen as a misappropriation and dilution of its original cultural and spiritual meaning. This not only disrespects the beliefs and traditions of the Pueblo Indigenous peoples but also risks violating their rights to their cultural and spiritual heritage.

From a Christian perspective, this issue raises concerns as well. The use of a symbol with a distinct Indigenous spiritual origin in a Christian context can be seen as a form of syncretism, which is the blending of different religious beliefs and practices. While religious freedom is a cherished principle, it is essential to approach such matters with sensitivity and respect for the beliefs of others. Using a symbol with deep cultural and spiritual significance to another group in a Christian context may not align with the principles of love, respect, and understanding that Christianity often emphasizes.

In light of these concerns, instead of stating a "Zia symbol", it should be referred to as a cultural appropriation of a people who were wiped from the land in the name of the Christian god. It is vital to honor and preserve the cultural and spiritual heritage of Indigenous peoples while respecting the principles of religious freedom and coexistence.

I appreciate your article's contribution to this matter, and I hope that it can further raise awareness of the importance of respecting the cultural and spiritual symbols of Indigenous communities.
Bella Rosin, 2 November 2023


[Municipal seal] image located by Paul Bassinson, 13 October 2019

Paul Bassinson, 13 October 2019