"Tȟawápaha Olówaŋ" (Lakota Flag Song)
At most Red Cloud basketball games, nine-year-old third grader Adriano Rama ’23 walks up to the announcer’s table and takes the microphone to sing Tȟawápaha Olówaŋ or the Lakota Flag Song—the official anthem of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Like the national anthem of any country, the Flag Song has become somewhat ubiquitous. Sung in Lakȟóta by tribal members and students during most sporting events and special occasions, it takes on a patriotic tone. Students like Adriano sing it as they face the stars and stripes of the American flag.
Robert Brave Heart, Sr., executive vice president at Red Cloud and a traditional Lakota singer, notes that the lyrics are often colloquially translated as, ‘The President's flag will stand forever, under it the people will live, therefore I do this.’
Adriano has been singing Flag Song at home games for almost two years and it’s something he thoroughly enjoys. Although it is meant to honor the American flag, for Adriano performing it is another way for him to be involved with his culture and to speak and sing in Lakȟóta.
SOURCE: Red Cloud Indian School