The flag of Madison, Wisconsin. Image: Alan De Smet

Zia Pueblo wants symbol removed from flag of city in far-away Wisconsin

A top leader from Zia Pueblo in New Mexico is calling for the removal of the tribe's well-known sun symbol from a flag in Wisconsin.

The Zia sun symbol has appeared in the center of the city of Madison's flag since 1962. But the tribe never gave its approval, WKOW reported.

"The solution will be taking it off," Lieutenant Governor Jerome Lucero told the station.

Arvina Martin, a citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation who is the first Native person to serve on the city council in Madison, has been pushing to do just that. After winning election in April, she told The Wisconsin State Journal that Native voters in her district started raising concerns about the use of the symbol on the flag.

The flag of the state of New Mexico. Photo: Ron Cogswell

“People are excited that native voices are being listened to, and that the city is taking their concerns seriously,” Martin told the paper.

Mayor Paul Soglin told the paper: “[I]t’s a good time to look at a redesign.”

The sun symbol has been used with Zia Pueblo's permission over the years. But its appearance on the flag of New Mexico occurred without the tribe's approval in the early 1900s. The state later acknowledged that it "appropriated" the symbol.

Read More on the Story:
Zia Pueblo tribe wants Madison to remove sun symbol from city flag design (WKOW 6/23)
Controversy over Zia Pueblo symbol on Madison flag prompts plans to redesign (The Wisconsin State Journal 6/26)