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Flag of Massachusetts

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Flag of Massachusetts. Image provided by Classroom Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
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Flag of Massachusetts. Image provided by Classroom Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)

The flag of Massachusetts displays, on both sides, the state coat of arms centered on a white field. The shield depicts an Algonquin Native American with bow and arrow; the arrow is pointed downward, signifying peace. A white star appears next to the figure's head, signifying the state's history as one of the original 13 American Colonies. A blue ribbon (blue, signifying the Blue Hills of Canton and Milton) surrounds the shield, bearing the state motto "Ense Petit Placidam, Sub Libertate Quietem" ("By the sword we seeks peace, but peace only under liberty"). Above the shield is the state military crest: a bent arm holding a broadsword aloft.

The state flag was made official in 1908, but had been used unofficially since the American Revolution. This flag included on its reverse the blue shield from the coat of arms containing only a green pine tree, which had been the design of the state naval ensign ever since the Revolutionary War.

In 1971 the flag was changed to make it the same on both sides. Additionally in 1971, the naval ensign, which had consisted of a green pine tree and the motto "An Appeal to Heaven", was changed to remove the religious motto. Massachusetts is one of only two states with its own naval ensign (the other is Flag of Maine).

The flag of the governor of Massachusetts has the same design as the state flag, but with a triangular shape.

Sources

Joe McMillan (2000), Zach Harden (2001), Mario Fabretto (1998), and Nick Artimovich (1997), [FOTW Flags of the World web site (http://flagspot.net/flags/)]


Flags of the U.S. states
Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
Flags of the inhabited insular areas and the Federal district
American Samoa | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands | Washington D.C.
Unofficial flags of the uninhabited insular areas
Johnston Atoll | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Palmyra Atoll | Wake Island
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