Massachusetts official seal and motto redesign under review by lawmakers

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – For years now, there’s been a debate around changing the state flag and the state seal. On Monday, a commission met for the very first time to discuss the issue.

This is an issue that people on both sides feel very passionately about. That’s why a 19 member commission will take an in-depth look at the matter before making any decisions.

Right now, the Massachusetts state flag features a Native American holding a bow and arrow with a disembodied arm above its head. Critics of the flag say it perpetuates racism and represents a period of history where Native Americans were oppressed.

“We see a Frankenstein version of what the artist thought was the ‘ideal’ Native person plus we see this broad sword hanging over the head of the person on the seal that I think for a lot of people conjures up some negative imagery,” Rep. Sabadosa told 22News.

The commission which includes politicians, historians, and indigenous leaders will make recommendations for a revised or new design of the seal and motto. They will also create an educational program on the history and meaning of the state seal.

Monday’s meeting will focus on the challenges of meeting that deadline, including staffing issues on the committee itself.

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