AP

Massachusetts panel explores changes to state seal, motto

Sep 20, 2022, 11:53 AM | Updated: 12:42 pm

BOSTON (AP) — The commission appointed to come up with a new state seal and motto for Massachusetts to replace the current ones that critics decry as racially insensitive to the state’s Indigenous communities discussed some early ideas, but made no firm decisions, at a meeting Tuesday.

The Special Commission on the Official Seal and Motto of the Commonwealth, made up of lawmakers, members of Indigenous tribes, historians and others, also disclosed plans to solicit feedback with a survey and several virtual and in-person public forums.

The current seal that appears on state flags, which dates to the late 19th century, features a depiction of a Native American man beneath a colonist’s arm brandishing a sword, which critics say is a reference to English colonists’ cruelty to local tribes centuries ago.

A new seal should not depict a human, said Donna Curtin of the commission’s research and design subcommittee.

“While a majority of state seals do include a human figure, the subcommittee’s feelings were that the design for the new seal should not include a human figure as it was felt it could not reflect the full diversity or identities of either Indigenous peoples or of the whole peoples on the Commonwealth,” she said.

Some ideas include symbols or elements from nature that might better reflect the state.

“We’re on the same page that we want to see a completely new design here,” said Commission co-Chair Brian Weeden.

The state’s Latin motto that translates as, “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty,” dates to about 1659 and is attributed to English politician Algernon Sydney, according to the secretary of state’s office.

A new motto should reflect concepts such as liberty, peace, justice, equity and educational opportunity, said Michael Comeau of the commission’s history and usages subcommittee.

It should also be easier to understand.

“It was suggested that the motto should be recognizable and be transferrable and should not require explanation to the general public,” he said.

Commission members stressed that all the ideas are in the early stages and nothing has been finalized.

The 20-member commission was created by the state Legislature and was supposed to complete its work by the end of this year, but has asked for an extension until next March.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Global technology outage causes chaos on Friday morning...

Associated Press

Faulty software update causes havoc worldwide for airlines, hospitals and governments

A global technology outage grounded flights, knocked banks and hospital systems offline and media outlets off air on Friday morning.

3 days ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives during the second day of th...

Associated Press

Donald Trump celebrated by former rivals at Republican National Convention

Former president Donald Trump was celebrated at the Republican National Convention by former rivals, including Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.

5 days ago

FILE - Members of the Henderson Fire Department load Deb Billet, 66, into an ambulance before trans...

Associated Press

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths.

9 days ago

FILE - Dr. Ruth Westheimer participates in the "Ask Dr. Ruth" panel during the Hulu presentation at...

Associated Press

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who became a pop icon, has died

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who became a pop icon, media star and best-selling author, has died.

9 days ago

Biden proposes rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat...

Associated Press

Biden proposes new rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat

President Joe Biden on Tuesday proposed a new rule to address excessive heat in the workplace, warning — as tens of millions of people in the U.S. are under heat advisories — that high temperatures are the country's leading weather-related killer.

19 days ago

FILE - Rori Chang, of Glendale, Ariz., walks with her dog Ava as they leave the Maricopa Country An...

Associated Press

Here are ways that can help ease dogs’ July Fourth dread

Those with furry, four-legged family members will be searching for solutions to the Fourth of July anxiety that fireworks bring.

20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Massachusetts panel explores changes to state seal, motto