Members of the Commission of Fine Arts formally confirmed at their June 20 meeting the designs for seven Code Talker medals recommended through independent review the week before.
The medals are being issued under provisions of the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-420).
“Code Talkers” refers to American Indians who served during World War I and II and used their native tribal languages for tactical military operations.
The seven medals for which designs are currently under consideration are the Cherokee Nation; Meskwaki Nation (Sac and Fox); Seminole Nation; Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribe; Ho-Chunk Nation; Oglala Sioux Nation, and Yankton Sioux Nation.
The CFA reviewed 65 proposed designs — 36 obverses and 29 reverses.
Design details for each medal follow:
➤ Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribe:
The six obverse designs incorporate elements of the Army Infantry helmet and radio communications equipment utilized by the Assiniboine Sioux code talkers in North Africa as members of B Company, 1st Battalion, 163rd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Division. The four reverse designs incorporate one or more of the following elements: outline of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation (represented as a bison outlined by rivers and creeks), two eagle staffs, a Plains Indian dance whip, and the 41st Infantry Division patch.
➤ Cherokee Nation:
The five proposed obverse designs feature Cherokee Nation code talkers communicating on the field phone. The five reverses are variations on the Cherokee Nation seal.
➤ Ho-Chunk Nation:
The seven proposed obverses feature various Ho-Chunk Nation code talkers in action. The three reverses are variations of the Ho-Chunk Nation seal, which includes an eagle, bear, peace pipe and war club.
➤ Meskwaki Nation:
The four obverse designs show Meskwaki Code Talkers in action. The three reverses depict the Meskwaki Nation Tribal logo.
➤ Oglala Sioux Tribe:
The three obverse designs depict Oglala Sioux Tribe Code Talkers. The six reverse designs are based on the Oglala Sioux Tribe flag.
➤ Seminole Nation:
The five obverse designs depict two or three code talkers conducting their mission with an early period chief in the background keeping watch over them. Of the six reverses, two depict a ball, ball sticks and wolves. Four depict variations of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma seal.
➤ Yankton Sioux Tribe:
The six proposed obverse designs feature Yankton Sioux Tribe Code Talkers delivering messages in various ways. The two proposed reverse designs both depict variations of a drawing of a bison skull with tribal colors. ■