Navajo Nation Officials Sign Proclamation in Honor of John Claw, Jr.

Navajo Tribal Chairman Sam Akeah shakes hands with a young John Claw Jr., in 1952 when his design became the Official Seal of the Navajo Nation.

Published March 14, 2017

WINDOW ROCK – Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez in honor and recognition of John Claw, Jr., the creator of the Navajo Nation seal proclaim that all flags shall be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

“Claw’s masterful design encompasses the very essence of the Navajo Nation and his legacy will be remembered forever,” said President Begaye.

The Great Seal of the Navajo Nation has 50 arrowheads symbolizing the Navajo Nation’s protection within the 50 states. The opening at the top represents the eastern direction. The circular rainbow represents Navajo Nation’s sovereignty and as such, the rainbow never closes on the nation’s sovereignty. The sun is portrayed to shine from the east onto the four sacred mountains; Tsisnaasjini’ – Mt. Blanca, Tsoodzil – Mt. Taylor, Doko’oosliid – San Francisco Peak, and Dibé Nitsaa – Mt. Hesperus.

“The ideology that Claw incorporated into the seal conveys strength, dignity and above all, sovereignty. The Navajo Nation Seal holds great power as does the tribe,” said Vice President Nez.
The Office of the President and Vice President expresses their sincerest condolences to the family of Claw.

The memorial for Claw will take place on March 14, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Navajo Nation Museum. Burial Services for Claw will take place on March 15, 2017 at the family plot in Many Farms, Arizona.

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