Lawmakers OK bill reviewing Massachusetts state seal, flag

Massachusetts

FILE – In this Monday, May 2, 2016 file photo, the Massachusetts state flag flies in front of Boston City Hall. Native American groups in the state are rallying in front of the State House in Boston on Thursday, July 16, 2020, to urge passage of legislation banning the use of Indian mascots and creating a commission to review the state’s seal and motto. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ Senate has unanimously approved creating a commission to review the state seal and motto, which includes a controversial depiction of a Native American man.

The bill still needs House approval, but Native American groups praised Tuesday’s vote.

They also called on lawmakers to take action on a bill banning public schools from using Indian mascots and another strengthening protections for Indian burial sites and sacred objects.

Massachusetts’ seal and flag depicts a Native American man, a colonist’s arm brandishing a sword, and a Latin phrase that reads, in part, “By the sword we seek peace.”

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