Resolution in support of changing the Massachusetts flag and seal
|Official Text of the Article
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE CREATION OF A SPECIAL COMMISSION RELATIVE TO THE SEAL AND MOTTO OF THE COMMONWEALTH
WHEREAS, the history of State of Massachusetts is replete with instances of conflict between the European Colonists and the Native Nations of the region, who first extended the hand of friendship to the Colonists in 1620 and helped them survive during the settlers' first winter on their land; and
WHEREAS, members of the Native Nation for whom the State of Massachusetts is named were ambushed and killed by Myles Standish, first commander of the Plymouth Colony, in April 1623, barely two years after the Pilgrims arrived on their shores; and
WHEREAS, the symbols in the current flag and seal of the Commonwealth are a composite of appropriated symbols that do not reflect the true history; and
WHEREAS, since colonial times, the history of relations between what is now the State of Massachusetts and the Native Nations include forced internment leading to the death of hundreds in 1675 on Deer Island and their subsequent enslavement in Boston, Bermuda and the Caribbean islands, and
WHEREAS, the Native Nations within the current State of Massachusetts were kept in a state of servitude, and their members were legally considered incompetent wards of the state until the nonviolent action of the so-called Mashpee Rebellion of 1833 which led to the granting of Native self-rule by the Massachusetts legislature in 1834, as if it were the right of the Massachusetts legislature to grant such rights; and
WHEREAS, Native Americans were legally prohibited from setting foot into Boston from 1675 until 2004, when the law was repealed; and
WHEREAS, the 400th anniversary of the landing of the European Colonists at Plymouth Plantation is approaching in 2020, giving every citizen of the Commonwealth a chance to reflect on this history and to come to a new awareness of the possibility of a better relationship between the heirs of the European conquest and the Native Nations of the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, Native Americans have long suffered the many abuses of racism, the appropriation of their symbols for public schools and sports teams, the confiscation and pollution of their ancestral lands and the encroachment on their cultures;
Now, therefore, BE IT RESOLVED that Town Meeting of Brookline adopts this resolution in support of H.2776 and S.1877, entitled 'Resolve providing for the creation of a special commission relative to the seal and motto of the Commonwealth' and commends Representative Nika Elugardo as a sponsor and Representative Tommy Vitolo as a cosponsor of this resolution and further urges Representatives Edward Coppinger and Michael Moran and Senator Cynthia Creem to support and vote in favor of the aforementioned Resolve (H.2776 and S.1877) in the General Court and that the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight (or all other legislative committees which may hear the bill), after holding a public hearing, report it out favorably and if the legislation shall pass, that Governor Charles Baker shall sign it and work with members of the General Court to ensure its enactment.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Town Clerk shall cause a copy of this resolution to be sent to State Representatives Elugardo, Vitolo, Coppinger and Moran, to Senator Creem and to Governor Charles Baker.