Replacing the Native American on the Massachusetts State Seal [OPINION]
Because anything and everything offends someone these days, Massachusetts will ditch its state seal and motto. Governor Charlie Baker has given the okie dokie to form a special commission to recommend a new state seal to adorn the state flag, and a new state motto.
The center of the current state seal is the Coat of Arms of Massachusetts in blue. According to Wikipedia, "The Coat of Arms was adopted by the Legislature in 1775, and then reaffirmed by Governor John Hancock and his Council on December 13, 1780. The present rendition of the seal was drawn by resident-artist Edmund H. Garrett, and was adopted by the state in 1900."
That's all fine and groovy enough, but what offends some folks is the image of a Native American guy at the center of the Coat of Arms. Above the image of the Native American, there is a disembodied arm holding a sword. The Latin motto translates as "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty." Some Native Americans argue that the seal and motto are disrespectful. Others tell me they are not offended in the least.
But this is America 2021 and it offends anyone, it has to go. Just ask Abe Lincoln and George Washington, whose statutes have been unceremoniously mothballed in recent weeks.
I believe the state seal honors Native Americans and fear that if we keep this stuff up there will be no images left that pay tribute to Native Americans. The Washington Football Team, formerly known as the Washington Redskins, and the soon-to-be Cleveland Baseball Team once the word "Indians" is removed from its title, are a testament to that. Personally, I say leave the damn thing as it is.
But since change is inevitable, I've been thinking about what should replace the Native American guy on the Massachusetts seal. A clam? Maybe a scallop shell? How about a Boston baked bean? A fish? I know, a Kennedy!
What do you think should replace the Native American guy on our state seal? Leave your suggestions below this post on Facebook. I'd love to read them.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.