Tribal flag bill introduced in N.D. Senate

BISMARCK – Sen. Richard Marcellais, D-Belcourt, has introduced a bill that would provide for the display of the flags of federally-recognized Indian tribes at certain locations in the state Capitol.

“This Capitol is the people’s building and I believe that it can represent all the citizens of our state,” Marcellais said. “Furthermore, our tribal nations are integral to the greatness of our state. Flying these tribal flags in our chambers and the courtroom of the Supreme Court will respect that relationship and honor our first North Dakotans.”

SB 2280 states the official flag of each Indian nation in N.D. must be displayed in the chamber of the House of Representatives, the chamber of the Senate, and the courtroom of the Supreme Court.

There are five federally-recognized tribes in N.D., each with their own official flag. In total, there are more than 31,000 American Indians living in N.D. comprising more than 4 percent of the population.

Currently, Oklahoma, Colorado, Oregon and Montana display the flags of their tribal nations either on or within the various Capitol grounds.

The bill was heard Friday before the Senate Political Subdivisions Committee.