White Soldiers Symbol

Native Indian Tribe

Meaning of the White Soldiers Symbol

The White Soldiers symbol, showing figures wearing hats, distinguished them from Native Indians.


White Soldiers Symbol

The following picture shows a a drawing made in 1875 by two Indian guides on a piece of birch bark which clearly shows the White Soldiers symbol. The drawing illustrates an over night stop and was placed upon an upright pole. Its purpose was to inform fellow Indians that a party of 14 white men and 2 Indians had encamped at the place. The slant of the Birch-bark pole showed the direction of the proposed march, and three notches in the wood of the pole showed that it was to be a three-day expedition. 

Native American Indian Birch Bark drawing showing the
White Soldiers symbol

The meanings of the other symbols are as follows:

  • The eight men in the upper row, with hats on, and with muskets beside them, represent the eight white soldiers

  • Number 1 (end of second row) represents the officer in command, with a sword

  • Number 2, with a book, the secretary

  • Number 3, with a hammer, the geologist

  • Numbers 4, 5 and 6 are attendants, one of these being the interpreter

  • Numbers 7 and 8 represent the two Indian guides, who are distinguished as Indians by being without hats

  • Number  11 represents a prairie-hen

  • Number 12 represents a tortoise, which had been eaten by the party

  • Numbers  13, 14, 15, mean that there were three separate camp fires.

The White Soldiers Symbol is a Pictogram
The White Soldiers symbol is in a fact a pictogram. A pictogram, also called a pictograph, conveys a story and meaning through pictures that signify and resemble the shapes of physical objects or people. An Ideagram is another form of pictogram which conveys complex ideas, feelings and emotions. A pictogram, such as the one recognised as a White Soldiers symbol, is a therefore a form of writing which uses representational, pictorial drawings to tell a story.

Native Indian Symbol
Native American Symbols
Native Indian Tribes Index

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Updated 2018-01-01

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