October 6, 2022

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Commission votes to scrap state seal and motto and start from scratch

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The existing deadline for this operate is Dec. 31, but the commission wishes to press the goal date to March 31, 2023.

The Massachusetts Point out flag with the state seal flies in front of the Point out Residence. John Tlumacki/World personnel

A unique commission voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that Massachusetts go ahead with a comprehensive redesign of its state seal and motto.

The current seal style, officially adopted in 1898, options a Native American keeping a bow and arrow, while standing beneath a colonist’s arm carrying a broadsword.

Wrapped all-around the seal is a blue ribbon with the motto “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem,” which roughly interprets from Latin to, “By the sword we request peace, but peace under liberty.”

Native American teams and activists have extended protested the state seal, but it wasn’t until the 2020-21 legislative session that a bill, S.2848, forming the fee was signed into legislation.

The 19-member Unique Commission Relative to the Seal and Motto of the Commonwealth, which features Indigenous tribe members as well as reps for the point out fee on Indian affairs, the state historical commission and the condition cultural council, amongst other organizations, fulfilled for the first time in July 2021.

Prior to the official vote Tuesday, Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, chairwoman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Homosexual Head (Aquinnah), claimed that although she would choose a manufacturer new seal and motto, she could “live with selected things, since I’m also a realist,” GBH reported.

“[I understand] that though we, the Indigenous people today, are the kinds that have been harmed and impacted by the detrimental imagery, or the interpretation of that imagery… we are a subset of the associates, or the citizens, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Andrews-Maltais explained.

Meanwhile, as also claimed by GBH, Brig. Gen. Leonid Kondratiuk, historic-services director for the state Nationwide Guard, made a take note about the state flag’s historical link to armed service services.

“Seventeen thousand Massachusetts troopers died beneath that flag from 1787 to Globe War I,” he said, according to GBH. “Of training course, we all regard that. But as a retired military services officer… that is on my thoughts as we strategy Memorial Day.”

The fee also debated whether it really should seek public enter prior to or after drafting a couple of designs. While no formal vote took spot, associates appeared to assistance looking for public input from the get-go, in accordance to GBH.

The fee voted in April to ask for that the point out Legislature thrust out the deadline for their operate from Dec. 31, 2022 to March 31, 2023. The Legislature has not but moved on this request. 

If accredited, this would mark the commission’s third extension on this operate, as the initial deadline was Oct. 1, 2021.