2.0 Responses from INDIANS

 

• The sword above the Indian looks like it is going to strike him. The Indian looks like he is white. By the sword the land was taken. The motto is a battle cry. (Nipmuc)

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• The arm above the Indian holding a saber is that of a non-Indian and seems to depict a vulgar display of dominance over the Indian in the crest. I would hope that the Wampanoag will come up with there own design and not use any part of this crest. If it were changed to a Indian arm holding a hatchet over a Pilgrim, I wonder how non-Indians would feel about that?

(Comanche/Ponca)

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• Hmmmm ... well, somehow the arm at the top seems to look like a non-Native holding a sword in a 'threatening' way ... and then the Native man in the main image is holding a bow and arrow, which I interpret as hunting implements. So it kind of looks historically correct, but it is still somehow unnerving to me ... I translate the image as a violent non-Native threatening a peaceful Native person. Maybe I'm just a little sensitive? (Mohawk)

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• Racist freaks from back East. (Cheyenne)

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• Well, I think it is a representation of the "strong arm of the white man" ... but as you see the warrior is standing tall and is not harmed. To me this means that the "white" man hasn't taken anything from him, i.e., life, pride, his whole way of life ... "BUT PEACE ONLY UNDER LIBERTY" -- now that just means that we (whites) are gonna take peace whether the People like it or not. The white man sees justice, the Native people see the consequences. I strongly disagree with the motto. (Oglala Lakota)

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• I have a hard time thinking of peace with MY people having ever been found with the sword.  Rather, their forced assimilation and imprisonment on reservations was FORCED by use of the sword, and the gun, and slavery, and disease, and etc., etc. ... (Mohawk)

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• This flag is supposed the represent the Native Americans of Massachusetts, correct? Under that assumption, why is there a motto (in Latin no less) that rings true of such notoriously historic Eurocentric (read: typical present day American) attitudes? Yes, the Native Americans have always been about peace and their own liberty for their own people, but they were not exclusively sought after "by the sword." That's a very aggressive and narrowminded course of action for a society of indigenous people to take in order to achieve peace and liberty, don't you think? And ironically, it was peace and liberty that was taken away from them in the first place. Simply put, this design suggests that the Native Americans of Massachusetts are stating that this is what they stand for (peace and liberty by the sword) while the design above states that this is who they are.  A big difference if you ask me. And as for the one white star? Silly, but if it will pacify the U.S. purists, then I guess we have to throw them at least one bone. (Ute)

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• The motto "By the sword we seek peace" is a threat...... of possible armed intervention or aggression. The European-looking sword and arm above the shield remind me that the Europeans came under the guise of peace but wound up taking the country by armed theft. If the Indigenous person were holding a lance or war-hatchet, this would be more indicative of the feelings of the people themselves, not with European threat. What is the "Lone Star" for? Is Texas related to this shield somehow? If this were a representation of the united tribes of the Northeast then there should be a different symbol. Is the state trying to capitalize on the status/ideals/destruction of the Indigenous Peoples while touting their European heritage?? (Blackwolf. Oglala Lakota, Hunkpapa and Sihasapa)

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• The image has the symbolism of settlers conquering the Native Americans by having a sword-wielding arm above the image of the Indian. It implies that peace is only attainable by conquering Native Americans. (Choctaw of Oklahoma)

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• By the way: What is liberty? Being occupied by the U.S.? (Cheyenne)

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• This seems to be a violent symbol of aggressors and conquerors and has no place in an enlightened society. This motto seems simply to be saying that the survival of the strongest and most aggressive and violent assures peace when the fact is that peace comes from the heart, not from the sword. (Tribe unknown)

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• I have a problem with a picture of a Native man with a arm and a sword swooping down over him, given the history of genocide and extermination in the Americas. This slogan combined with the image implies to me that killing Native people is justified in the name of liberty for the founders of the United States. Being that the founding fathers were exclusively Anglo males, and the picture depicted is of a Native man, with this slogan, the message is a racialized one.  In general, I get the impression that they mean the only way they can have liberty is by killing all the Native people, at which time then they may have peace, but only because they have liberated themselves at the expense of those who were here first. The notion of having to use a sword to secure peace and liberty requires that there are at least two parties involved: US and THEM, and it is THEM who stand in the way of peace and liberty by their very existence, thus requiring use of the sword (attempting to justify violence). In this case the THEM are Native peoples, and as a Native person this offends me. (Cherokee Lenape)

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• At first glance, the arm holding the weapon looks like it is going to strike the Indian. Reasons: The motto definitely doesn't change my opinion from the first question. It actually makes the situation worse. I mean, they killed Indians for peace? That doesn't work for me. (Crow Tribe)

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• I don't understand the meaning of the arm and sword "floating" above the shield in space. I definitely do not like the image of a Native person on what I associate as a knight’s shield; to me it implies European ownership of the symbol depicted thereon, such as a coat of arms.  But the [motto], to me, means that through violence we will achieve peace. And how can you achieve peace under liberty when it is a peace imposed by the sword ? That is a dictatorship.  Accompanied by this motto, I see the sword as poised to strike down the Native image in an effort to achieve the peace desired, even though the Native is not in a threatening posture. (Modoc/Cherokee)

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• It looks as if the Indian will be attacked by a sword. Now that I've read the motto, it definitely seems as if he will be attacked. (Muskogee)

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• The image is confusing. The Indian seems very passive, yet this unidentified raised arm overhead appears to be plunging the sword into the shielded image. It's extremely hypocritical.  History has proven again and again that liberty -- defined as the condition of being free from restriction or control and the right to act or believe as one chooses – was NOT given to Natives in this country. In fact, they were stripped of their liberties by the "sword". Peace and Liberty were never offered to Native citizens -- rather, confinement, loss of religious freedom and genocide. (Cherokee/Seneca)

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• Do not like the use of the sword above the shield. Use of Latin and the sword make me not like this design also. Lose the sword as a sign of aggression, the non-Native American, Western motto. (Onondaga)

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• A great symbol for First Nations not for WASPs. The motto does not indicate who the sword is to be used against. Is it to be used against First Nations. (Tsay Keh Dene First Nation, Canada)

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• It is insultingly stereotypical ... lacks imagination, shows no Native unity. As a centerpiece for the Mass. flag, it is at least recognizing the initial Native contribution to this country. (Oglala Lakota)

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• It appears that the saber is aimed at the Native. It seems like oppression for peace. (Chirikahua Apache)

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It’s too Americanized and it’s not factual. [Image with full arms is] Still Americanized, but it is a little nicer. (Cree)

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Most Indian tribes are peaceful, and in the beginning we were raped of our land, culture, and life as we knew it. We need not be patronized by a flag that seems American with it's shield shape, and sword. Indian tribes should be insulted by such white-man symbolism.  Violence with a sword was introduced by the white man's massacres to destroy human lives in the quest for power. Peace is only achieved when we live and let live. For centuries, mankind believed peace could be achieved by violent force. Sadly, to this day their stubbornness and impatience disallows the human race to take the natural course that will eventually lead to peace.  The true Indian nations do not seek peace with the sword, but understanding & communication. (Blackfoot)

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• I think that it’s a nice representation of our country’s origins. [with full arms] I think it doesn’t change the symbolism very much. Since they did land in Plymouth Rock, and that's in Massachusetts. I think it suits the state well. (Cherokee)

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• A raised sword above the (fictitious) image of a supposed member of the First Nations??  Mentally following the path of the sword, one can almost sense impending decapitation... a rather ominous scene. It certainly implies who has the upper hand, so to speak.  [the full arms] Well, considering the U.S. international policy of 'Might Makes Right', it fits the image to a 'T'. "Peace Only Under Liberty"? WHOSE 'liberty'? Certainly not the 'liberty' of the Original Nations inhabiting the present-day U.S.  "By the Sword We Seek Peace"?? Yeah... that probably makes sense to Americans; to the rest of the free world, it smacks only of sabre-rattling and aggression. The way to Peace is through War?  The way to Liberty is through enslaving? Yeesh. (Mohawk, Turtle Clan of the Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario, Canada)

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The image is not particularly disagreeable to me, but a Latin phrase and an American emblem of the colonialists who destroyed us as a nation ... is unacceptable. (Mapuche, Argentina)

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Inoffensive image. Dress is accurate for area, doesn't use usual Western clothing for Eastern tribe. (Eastern Cherokee)

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Our continent was settled by many various peoples, including our "native" ancestors from Asia.  I believe a symbol should represent not only our first ancestors, or the Europeans who came 500 yrs ago, but also the Africans of 500 yrs past and later immigrants from every corner of the world, who have made this continent their home. The fact is that we're all here and it's a heritage shared by many peoples , whether they came here 15,000 yrs ago or yesterday. This land belongs to all of us. We are a multi-cultural society no matter how our ancestors got here. (Algonquin)

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It should bear a symbol, not a person, that all Native Americans can agree on. It should have relation to any flag of any white men or their states, it should be completely original not copied off some WASP's design. (Cherokee)

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• Hey! I LIKE IT. I do not like the hand/arm/sword thing at the top. It looks out of place and violent. The Indian looks really cool. Reminds me of the Indian Head coins. Very classic Indian design.  [with full arms] I still like it – better even. The star in the corner adds a nice bit of color to it.  The scroll is very classy. The hand/arm/sword doesn't look as out of place, and it ties in with the motto, but it still looks too violent. If this is Mass.'s current logo, I'd keep it. If it's a thought for a new one, I'd figure out something else to use instead of the hand/arm/sword thingy. (Mixed Oklahoma & South Dakota tribes)

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• Not bad, not good, middle of the road, kind of generic. Why Latin on a Native Peoples' flag???  (Cherokee/Powhatan)

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[the image without motto & scroll] is one rating point higher than the [image with motto/scroll] because it doesn't have that stupid motto. I'd like something closer to Indians than the usual bow and feathers. Are we advertising a kid for pictures at 2 dollars? The violence is the last shelter of the ‘unables’, so the sword is not a way to get the peace. (Navajo)

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I was shocked to see this. A shield and some unknown Indian on there. I am Siletz Indian from Oregon and I live in Tennessee. Just to glance at this and not know the meaning behind it, makes me feel like it is some college mascot piece of garbage. What does the Indian figure have to do with the shield? Does this tribe use armor? What tribe is he and who is that using the sword above him.? He isn’t carrying a sword, and why not? Why is that sword above him, is that subliminal messaging saying something negative about the advancement of white-Anglo domination and almost complete annihilation of particular tribes on this continent?. What is the main purpose of this shield and Indian and sword pointing downward to the shield and Indian man?  Why is this in Latin, a dead language. Why isn’t a Roman on the shield? Why isn’t it the Indian’s tribal language – it would be more appropriate. And the meaning of these words... is this something that the tribal council of this man’s tribe would agree with? And what is with that sword over the man on the shield and now one white star? Why couldn’t it be a red 8-pointed star, which is connected with several Indian tribes? (Confederated Tribes of Siletz)

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I dislike seeing an Indian imposed on a European shield. It is an insult using an image of ‘The People’ on a European shield. Plus, it one-dimensionalizes Indians, and the quote is hypocritical and logically self-contradictory. (Lenni Lenape)

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Don’t like it. Don’t get it – obviously the white man has no clue as to how to obtain peace. ‘By the sword’ does not work, never has, never will. Our people should not be portrayed like this. (Eastern Cherokee)

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• Why the sword above the man's head? What does that symbolize? Very bad image.  How many people speak or understand Latin? It could mean "your little peace and liberty silenced." Why not openly and clearly state your meaning, in English? How many Native American Indians spoke Latin? Star or pentagram? (Descendant of Blackfoot-Lakota and Choctaw and a slave from Sierra Leone)

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• It makes the Native American important, reflects the early offerings of peace. The sword overhead is indicative of how the Native nations were 'rewarded' by Anglos. The star makes me aware that the shield was adopted during the American phase of our history. (Married to a Blackfoot)

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• The image of the Indian as being subjugated under the white-man's sword is disturbing to me as a person of Native heritage. (Mohawk)

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• There isn’t anything degrading about the image. I'm not sure of the original intent of the image.  If the motto is directed at the native population, I feel uncomfortable. If it is directed at the British and colonial tyranny, it doesn't bother me. (Lenape)

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• Abusive usage of Native American images. (Cherokee)

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• I feel a sort of contradiction in this image; in my opinion the Native cannot be combined with what looks to be an arm&sword in attire of the same colonials who used Native Iroquois living principles to form a system of government, and then did not honor the gift that was handed them.  [full arms image] is again contradictory: In my opinion, to proclaim that peace should be sought by the sword – this is an old-world motto. One nation under God, does your god know mine?  And the prophet we hail so much glory, Jesus the Christ, did he use swords? NO....IN AN EVER-CHANGING WORLD WE CANNOT HOPE FOR BETTER DAYS TO COME IF WE CONTINUE THE WARRIOR PARADIGM. (Hopi/Anasazi)

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• The sword looks like it’s about to attack the Native American. [full arms image] seems more tame and understanding the motto helps. (Navajo)

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• It is not a demeaning representation (Cherokee)

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• The arm holding the sword is not representative of Native dress or weaponry. It seems a bit out of place.  [re motto] These are very strong, somewhat violent words. Seeking peace by violence first, seems a bit rash. The latter section is appropriate. The above motto sends pictures of screaming, Hollywood Indians running through my mind, torturing and harassing pioneers for blood lust.  Not pretty. (Onondaga)

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• To me this symbolizes Native Americans before Wabe (white) influence. Very pleasing to me.  I also like this, as it represents Native Americans and how they survived even after encountering the Wabe people. (Shawnee United Remnant Band, Ohio)

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• The symbol seems to be forcing the Native American image into a western or European concept. If this is to be a Native American flag it should reflect the art and spirit of the proud people it represents. (Lakota)

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• Captures the essence of my people as warriors, and I like the star. (Cherokee)

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• The sword seems out of place with the Native American, as it contradicts the technological culture of the Native tribes at contact [with settlers].  The motto is repugnant because of the contradiction between arms of violence being used for peace - it can also be argued that this (and the fact that it is in Latin) contradicts the culture of the Native American in the center. (Cheraw)

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• [simple shield] is a good depiction of the Native Americans.  [shield with motto & scroll] this is an outrage to my people!!!! (Wyandot Nation)

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• What's wrong with it? Its not defamatory or ridiculing. First of all, the sword is above the shield and has nothing to do with the Native American within the shield, vexillologically speaking. Second, the arm wielding the sword has no race attached to it whatsoever. It's just an arm. Frankly, I think it’s a noble-looking native on the shield and is an appropriate representative of our people. I would think the Irish have more to complain about with Notre Dame's cartoon leprechaun. People need to lighten up. What needs to be dealt with is the here and now. We should celebrate the fact that there IS a proud Native American on their flag! To interpret it any other way is to be as racist as you seem to be accusing the other side of being.  (Lenape)

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• What's up with the shield?? Yes, we had some type of shields, but hey were circular in shape, that shield looks more like something a white person would have.... and also what's up with the sword?? we never had swords, unless we captured them from white battles, but that is not originally formed by Natives.  Yeah right, I bet they sought peace. I don't think so. (Cheyenne-Arapaho)

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• It looks as though there is a white guy trying to kill the Indian. I am Native, so that obviously isn't good. Peace through murder and degradation!! (Mohawk)

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• The sword and arm, ABOVE the First Nations man, is likely to be seen as those of a European land-stealer ... could be construed as dominance or sovereignty of Europeans OVER First Nations communities ... not at all acceptable in today's understandings of the wrongs committed against First Peoples. (I am Algonquin from Canada, so not "Native American", but "native CANADIAN")

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• Native Americans always have four colors to represent the directions. To show a sword above their head is tacky at the very least. Also, they always have symbols that represent stories or dreams. These symbols do not work.  In addition, Native Americans consider the circle as very sacred, not a European shield that does not belong to a Native American tribe. Do your research ... ( I am a Native American ... adopted half Mohawk and Yankton Sioux)

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What’s up with the sword over the Indians head? Looks like its about to chop him. This is plain and simple racism directed toward Natives of Massachusetts. They need to get over it and move on. Nobody enforces the law with swords anymore. Part of that old manifest-destiny garbage.  (Sioux)

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In our culture, where everyone is a victim, many of the facts are forgotten about the way it really was in the old world. Yeah, European settlers were wicked in their dealings with American Indians, but the Indian way was not peaceful. American Indians were vicious to each other continuously fighting and they were vicious to settlers. It would be just as factual to put a European settler or another Indian in the place of the Indian with a flung arrow, or any other form of horrendous torture they used at/on one of these victims. (Cherokee)

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• The sword symbolizes a threat to me. Are we trying to scare someone? If so, whom and why?  [motto] This really sounds more like the truth after they didn't leave when told, but now we fight them their way: Through their legal system. (Crowfoot, Cherokee)

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• This is a good State flag, a unique design. It harmonizes imagery from Indian and European design. An Indian on a flag reminds people that America is Indian country. (Mascouten)

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• I feel uncomfortable with the sword over the Native. I feel as though it is a reminder of the conqueror's rule over my ancestors. I think this is a reminder of how the land was taken from the Natives by those who wielded the sword. Some peace they were seeking ... (Creek)

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• The arm and sword is a symbol of the U.S. Cavalry which was responsible for the slaughter of many Indian non-combatants. The arm and sword is also ABOVE the likeness of the warrior, which can be interpreted as being under the control of or in submission. The arm is ready to strike, and the warrior below doesn't even have his arrow knocked. The colors of blue and yellow are also the colors of the Cavalry. Also, the star is a symbol from the U.S. flag. Latin is so disconnected from the Indian culture. (Lakota Sioux)

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• Not too inaccurate for a Massachusetts Indian. Peace only under liberty? For a Native American? Are you kidding? Swords do not make peace. (Multi-tribal)

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• [very disturbing] because it looks as if someone is going to kill the Native American. (Algonquin)

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• The symbol of the Warrior, standing with longbow and arrow, indicates vigilance and preparedness. If the dominant Anglo populace chooses a Native Warrior to show that they stand guard to preserve the peace and the good of all without regard to race, then it is a positive image.  The arm with sword atop the shield could be a little troubling, but it can easily be ascribed to a holdover from less refined days of British heraldry. (But you'd think the Commonwealth could at least get him to stand up a little straighter!)  I am more uncomfortable with the Commonwealth's motto, which goes troublingly beyond the vigilance represented by the Warrior with longbow. To stand on guard in the defense of liberty is one thing; to actively promote violence in the defense of peace is laughably anachronistic! While oxymoronic, though, the Latin at least looks classy. (Klamath)

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• There's nothing offensive about this image – if anything, the Native American figure is in a position of honor. The Native American here has been chosen as an emblem of Massachusetts, a sign of respect on the part of the state's populace. (Cherokee/Delaware)

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• I like the shield with the Native American, as he is, but I do NOT like the figure above the shield with the arm raised in a threatening fashion. I believe the Native Americans fought only because their land was being taken from them, and anyone who respects and cherishes their land would do the same. I do NOT like the motto which says, "By the sword we seek peace." The Native Americans have already been perceived, over the last 200 years, as evil slaughterers, and that image needs to change. (Abenaki)

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• It’s interesting, but the top part with the arm and sword is sort of frightening. The sword on the top doesn’t seem to seek peace. (Cherokee)

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• He looks run down and tired in spirit, and I don't like to see a great people like that. To top it off, what is that sword and arm doing above him? I like the motto, though it should add that only if threatened will use the sword, or something like that.(Cherokee)

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• It doesn’t move me in any way. Does the motto mean using the sword to kill Native Americans for peace (as in the olden days) or what? (Choctaw)

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• Historically it is okay but what about the modern Native American and what that looks like now? The sword’s kind of violent. (Plains Cree)

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• Why would an Indian be a symbol of the Commonwealth and not a more traditional European heraldic symbol? Wouldn't a depiction of the Mayflower, a male Puritan colonist or a mounted John Revere make more sense? As a symbol of the Commonwealth, the five-pointed star in the first quarter and in a superior position to the Indian makes one wonder if the motto is more in reference to European efforts to subordinate Indian communities to the rule of law, rather than alluding to hard-fought liberties and Peace the American Revolution was mainly about.  So which is it? An enshrining symbolism to the cause of Liberty to which Native Americans played an indispensable part? Or is it an obsolete standard from a colonial and post-colonial era when the rule of law oftentimes meant a bloody, savage and inhumane enforcement of the law in terms of Indian assimilation and marginalization?  Given the European colonial experience in this country and elsewhere, as well as an evolving sensibility for a more just civil society, it’s not wrong to assert that this flag should go the way of the South African tricolor and the Stars and Bars flag of the State of Georgia. The Commonwealth should adopt a more "mature" standard. (Quinault)

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• The Indian is not shown in a derogatory or stereotypical way, but rather a historically accurate portrayal. The flag shows the feelings of the founding fathers of the state who had to fight to gain their freedom and peace. (Choctaw/Cherokee)

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• I like this a lot. It conveys strength and nobility. It's one of those "positive stereotypes" of Native Americans. The star does nothing for me aesthetically. The motto frightens me. Even though it may once have meant that we will fight in order to achieve or defend the peace that we have under a free society, it now says to me that the court will define for me what my freedom is and they'll lop my head off if I step out of line with "The Party." Republicrat or Demopublican – either party.  I find Massachusetts one of the most totalitarian states in the union, and I suspect that they are hoping to expunge the Native portrayed in this design in order to give some wealthy white suburban liberals some self-satisfaction. (They still won't let us into their neighborhoods, though.) (part Seneca)

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• Native American is a misnomer. The Lakota came from Asia and took over from the previous inhabitants. That the arm holds a sword and the Lakota holds weapons of war is offensive to non-Lakota and Lakota. It is just if applied to the Arab/Muslim population at this time and then to others who threaten the American way of life. (Chippewa)

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• I have no problem at all with this. Love the motto. Despite living right under Mass, I never got a good look at their flag. Nice. (Micmac)

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• Looks like the Native's head is about to be cut off. (Cree/Ojibway/Sioux)

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• Not only does this design convey typical Native American stereotypes, it uses a motto that is in a language utterly unrelated to Native American cultures. Another indication of the Euro-centric mentality these nations have suffered under for generations. (Taino)

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• It looks like a arm about to cut an unsuspecting man's head off. This [full arms] looks a little better, the arm-and-head problem described above is not as noticeable because of the other embellishments. (Anishinabe)

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• For what reason should I be uncomfortable? I'd also suggest the Latin motto is magnificent and embraces the fundamental notion embodied in "...the land of the free and the home of the brave."  Quintessentially American. Don't you have anything better to do than wring your hands over politically correct questions like this? Ironically, by asking the question, one validates (if not engenders) the notion that this symbol can make someone "uncomfortable". Symbols cannot give offense ... offense can only be taken. Thus, the responsibility for such offense is on the offended, not the offender. (Cherokee)

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• I feel that, until the U.S. and state governments treat us a whole lot better than they do now and accord us the full equal rights they state U.S. citizens are entitled to, states have no right to try to glorify our images on their flags. The hypocrisy of those who use native symbols cannot be ignored! The government names states, rivers, mountains etc. after us, but where else in the U.S. can you find a people so ill-treated by those that pretend to "honor" them? (Cheyenne)

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• I think it shows a generic image of Native Americans, but still it could be worse. Well, if they are saying they need to kill Amerinds for peace, they've sort of been brain dead for the last 200 years. (Choctaw)

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• Don't see any problem or issue to be concerned about, on the face of it. I don't feel that the motto and the picture necessarily share a common message. Anyway, it seems to me that the Latin reads, "By the sword (he) seeks peace, tranquility under liberty." The grammatical subject of the sentence is not indicated very clearly, and the verb is in the third person singular. The English translation puts the verb in the second person plural. It's actually quite an interesting motto. It's difficult to say with any certainty precisely what is meant by the statement.  I suppose I can imagine what the problem might be, since I have been asked to rate my reaction, but I find it curious that I have only been given the opportunity to rate my reaction in terms of indifference or discomfort on my part. What if I like the design and motto? (Assiniboine/Ojibwa)

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• What does the arm sticking out with the sword mean or represent? I don't understand that, or why it is there. What are you trying to say with it, with the Indian brave under it? Totally confused by it and not happy with it. (Jemez Pueblo)

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• There is nothing in the image that is offensive. I am kind of in the middle of the road on this symbol only because it talks of swords and liberty and to me they have nothing to do with Native American symbolism but it should also be noted that there is really nothing offensive about the image either. (Cheyenne)

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• Are them Yanks callin’ Indians "yellow"?  [re motto] Yeah, that's manifest destiny for you. "By the sword we seek peace..." – a piece of the world, you mean. (Southern Cherokee)

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• European heraldry, nondescript. Probably created by a committee. I can understand the symbolism sought, but it isn’t elegant and time has not improved it. Yet, a legislature may do as it chooses and symbols are SO difficult to deal with. (Nobody walks away at all satisfied.)  Still, it’s better than some. American heraldry would be much improved if there were a College of Arms, in possession of skill, wit and taste. (Mohawk)

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• This shouldn't be all that we are seen as. Ask us what should be written there, don't just assume.  (Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico)

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• I am an American Indian of Cherokee and Oneida (Eastern Band). The shield I do not find offensive, except for the fact that I don’t think Indians should be remembered on ANY state shields or emblems when they were the victims of persecution and/or genocide by the founders of a state. I find the sword in the arm over the Indian very unsettling. If they change their motto to "By the sword we seek to wipe out nations, by death or assimilation, and supplant them with our ways", then they would be telling the truth about themselves. (Cherokee and Oneida)

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• Still don’t like it! The symbol looks less oppressive and more "wholesome" [than simple shield], more able to accept. To me it still conveys the United States government’s suppression of the Native peoples. We are still under the sword, and are "ruled" by the hand that wields the sword. The above Latin meaning just emphasizes the government's love of telling people and countries how to live. This Latin motto is just to try and justify what we do as a country. It shows the total disregard we as a country have for other cultures and beliefs.  (Odawa/Cherokee)

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• There is no unity to this image, whether the man is Native or not it seems that he looks unsuspecting and at ease, whereas there is this arm above him that wields a sword pointed in his direction. It reminds me of scenes in cheap murder mystery scenes showing the person in them as an disembodied hand with a weapon and then the person ends up dead. – so is this another way to say silently and stealthily kill of the Indians so that they don't know what hit them [full arms] Still strange that the sword would be pointed towards the unsuspecting man, but stranger still that the arm wouldn't be under the motto, and that there would be no sense of unity or peace in the picture at all. I mean every aspect of the emblem in disjointed from the other, and a sword really has no place in peace. (Ojibway)

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Summary of Indian comments: Positive Comments: 17; negative comments: 63