"Dago Te", Welcome to the White Mountain Apache Tribe

» Tribal Seal & Fire Department Logo

White Mountain Apache Tribal Seal

The universe, spanning an eternity of darkness to the beginning of time is where the Creator of Life gave light and breath to the White Mountain Apaches.

The universe became the background for colorful creations of life. Apaches have been guided since time immemorable by these sacred symbols given by the Creator.

The Creator of the Apaches has bless them with a beautiful way of life symbolized by the life sustaining waters flowing from the melting snows of the White Mountain - a mountain of Sacredness. Its' ridges abound with deer and elk and many animals small and large which have been provided for the Apaches to hunt.

The rainbow brilliantly ovals the crest of the White Mountains adding a crown to the beauty of the land...the rainbow is a symbol of peace. The tree symbolizes the predominant forests growing on the White Mountain Apache lands; a resource that is providing a livelihood for Apaches today.

The wicki-up is an ancient and unique Apache habitat; as is the tus (pronounced toose), a water container made from native reeds and coated with pitch from the pinon trees - only the Apaches have maintained the ancient craft in the making of the tus.

The four Sacred colors, black, blue, yellow and white have guided the Apaches in their prayers to the Great Creator - from the universe to the creations; from night to daylight.

The mountain spirits have taught the Apaches to perform the Apache Crown Dance as a means of curing. The crown headdress is be-decked with eagle feathers; the teacher that flew the highest in the Heavens.

The signs of lightning are sacred symbols of the Apaches which are placed on the bodies of the Apache Crown Dancers who are instructed by the mysterious mountain spirits to perform healing rituals for the Apaches. The crown dance is authentically performed today.

The White Mountain Apaches have existed throughout centuries with great strength and integrity inhabiting the beautiful land; through severe winter storms, through turbulent summer rains, through the autumn frosts, guided by the Great Spirit, their Creator, who Blessed his creatures that they can enjoy the spring of life - that is the beauty of life.

Fire & Rescue Department Logo

Our logo is commonly referred to as a Maltese cross. It is the standard symbol for the American fire service and is often times modified to reflect its organization. Our Maltese cross presents the White Mountain Apache Tribal seal in the center.

Today's Maltese cross originated from a symbol used by Christian warriors known as the Knights Hospitaller or Knights of Malta during the Crusades. It is said that during the crusades, many Knights became firefighters out of necessity as their enemies had resorted to throwing glass bombs and vessels containing naphtha. Hundreds of Knights were burned alive and many risked their lives to save their brothers from dying by fire. Those knights that wore the Maltese cross symbol earned the reputation of being chivalric. The eight points of the Maltese cross are said to symbolize the chivalric virtues of the Knights:

  • Loyalty
  • Piety
  • Frankness
  • Bravery
  • Glory and honor
  • Contempt of death
  • Helpfulness towards the poor and the sick
  • Respect for the church
Source: Wikipedia

Today, the Fire Service Maltese cross represents the principles of charity, loyalty, chivalry, gallantry, generosities to friend and foe, protection of the weak, and dexterity in service. It is a symbol of protection and is worn with honor. It means that firefighters will protect those in need, often at the expense of their own life, and prevent the horrible fates the Knights once endured.