Franklin County towns to have say on Native American state seal

Franklin County

Boston State representative Byron Rushing has filed a bill that recommends changing the Massachusetts state seal and flag. 

Rushing believes the state seal is offensive to Native Americans. Franklin County voters will have a chance to express whether they think this is a good idea.

“Everybody finds something to be offended by,” said Davin Ojala of Shelburne Falls. “To me its a waste of everyone’s time. We have much more important things we should be worrying about.” 

The Massachusetts state seal depicts a Native American holding a longbow with a sword above his head. A “yes” vote would support a special commission to investigate the appropriateness of the seal. Gill residents asked the town to put an article that supports Cushing’s bill on the Town Meeting warrant.

“The question was brought to the Select Board and they were asked if they would consider placing it onto the warrant,  and they felt it was a question worth letting the voters weigh in on,” said Gill Administrative Assistant, Ray Purington.

Rushing’s bill would create a special commission that would determine whether the seal accurately represents the commonwealth’s contemporary commitments of peace, justice, liberty, and equality. The state seal was first adopted in 1780.

Gill residents will vote on the state seal article at their June 19 town meeting.

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