This is a list of official symbols of the United States Commonwealth of Massachusetts . Official symbols of the commonwealth are codified in Chapter 2 of the Massachusetts General Laws.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.
The Massachusetts General Laws is a codification of many of the statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Commonwealth's laws are promulgated by an elected bicameral ("two-chamber") legislative body, the Massachusetts General Court. The resulting laws—both Session Laws and General Laws—together make up the statutory law of the Commonwealth.
|Flower||Mayflower||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §7|
|Tree||American elm||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §8|
|Bird||Chickadee||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §9|
|Beverage||Cranberry juice||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §10|
|Horse||Morgan horse||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §11|
|Insect||Lady bug||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §12|
|Fish||Atlantic Cod||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §13|
|Dog||Boston Terrier||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §14|
|Gem||Rhodonite||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §15|
|Marine mammal||Right whale||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §16|
|Fossil||Dinosaur track||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §17|
|Mineral||Babingtonite||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §18|
|Song||"All Hail to Massachusetts" by Arthur J. Marsh||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §19|
|Folk song||"Massachusetts" by Arlo Guthrie||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §20|
|Poem||"Blue Hills of Massachusetts"||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §21|
|Rock||Roxbury puddingstone||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §22|
|Historical rock||Plymouth Rock||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §23|
|Explorer rock||Dighton Rock||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §24|
|Building and monument stone||Granite||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §25|
|Heroine||Deborah Sampson||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §26|
|Ceremonial march||"The Road to Boston"||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §27|
|Muffin||Corn muffin||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §28|
|Shell||New England Neptune (Neptunea lyrata decemcostata)||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §29|
|Cat||Tabby cat||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §30|
|Patriotic song||"Massachusetts (Because of You Our Land is Free)"||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §31|
|Folk dance||Square dance||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §32|
|Soil||Paxton Soil Series||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §33|
|Vietnam veterans' memorial||Worcester Vietnam Veterans' Memorial||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §34|
|Designation of residents||Bay Staters||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §35|
|Game bird||Wild turkey||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §36|
|Southwest Asia War Veterans' Memorial||Worcester Southwest Asia War Veterans' Memorial||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §37|
|Bean||Baked navy bean||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §38|
|Berry||Cranberry||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §39|
|Folk hero||Johnny Appleseed||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §40|
|Dessert||Boston cream pie||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §41|
|Cookie||Chocolate chip cookie||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §42|
|Glee club song||"The Great State of Massachusetts"||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §43|
|Polka||"Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts"||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §44|
|Peace statue||Orange Peace Statue||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §45|
|Korean War memorial||Charlestown Navy Yard Korean War Memorial||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §46|
|Ode||"Ode to Massachusetts"||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §47|
|MIA/POW memorial||Massachusetts National Cemetery MIA/POW Memorial||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §48|
|Children's book||Make Way for Ducklings||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §49|
|Children's author and children's illustrator||Theodor Geisel/Dr. Seuss||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §50|
|Donut||Boston cream donut||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §51|
|District tartan||Bay State Tartan||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §52|
|Colors||Blue, green, and cranberry||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §53|
|Blues artist||Taj Mahal||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §54|
|Sport||Basketball||M.G.L. Ch. 2, §55|
|Inventor||Benjamin Franklin||Acts of 2006|
|Reptile||Garter snake||Acts of 2006|
|Artist||Norman Rockwell||Acts of 2008|
Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem is a Latin passage and the official motto of the U.S. Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The phrase is often loosely translated into English as "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty." The literal translation, however, is "she seeks with the sword a quiet peace under liberty." The "she" in question refers to the word manus from the full phrase manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem, which means "this hand, an enemy to tyrants, seeks with the sword a quiet peace under liberty."
Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically it has sometimes been synonymous with "republic". The noun "commonwealth", meaning "public welfare general good or advantage" dates from the 15th century. Originally a phrase it comes from the old meaning of "wealth", which is "well-being", and is itself a loose translation of the Latin res publica (republic). The term literally meant "common well-being". In the 17th century, the definition of "commonwealth" expanded from its original sense of "public welfare" or "commonweal" to mean "a state in which the supreme power is vested in the people; a republic or democratic state".
The flag of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the flag of Massachusetts. It has been represented by official but limited-purpose flags since 1776, though until 1908 it had no state flag per se to represent its government. A variant of the white flag with blue seal was carried by each of the Massachusetts volunteer regiments during the Civil War alongside the National Colors. An exception were the two "Irish regiments", each of which was permitted to carry an alternative green flag with a harp symbol. The state currently has three official flags: a state flag, a "naval and maritime flag", and a governor's flag. With Florida and Minnesota, it is one of only three state flags to prominently feature a Native American in its heraldry.
"Commonwealth" is a designation used by four of the 50 states of the United States in their full official state names: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. "Commonwealth" is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Prior to the formation of the United States of America in 1776, all four were part of Great Britain's possessions along the Atlantic coast of North America. As such, they share a strong influence of English common law in some of their laws and institutions.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a health care reform law in 2006 with the aim of providing health insurance to nearly all of its residents. The law mandated that nearly every resident of Massachusetts obtain a minimum level of insurance coverage, provided free and subsidized health care insurance for residents earning less than 150% and 300%, respectively, of the federal poverty level (FPL) and mandated employers with more than 10 full-time employees provide healthcare insurance. The law was amended significantly in 2008 and twice in 2010 to make it consistent with the federal Affordable Care Act. Major revisions related to health care industry price controls were passed in August 2012, and the employer mandate was repealed in 2013 in favor of the federal mandate. Because Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts at the time, the law has colloquially been called Romneycare, a reference to the nicknaming of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as "Obamacare".
The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the United States Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The form of Massachusetts government is provided by the Constitution of the Commonwealth. The legislative power is exercised by the bicameral General Court, composed of the Senate and House of Representatives. The executive power generally is exercised by the Governor, along with other independently elected officers, the Attorney General, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Auditor. The judicial power is reposed in the Supreme Judicial Court, which superintends the entire system of courts. Cities and towns also act through local governmental bodies that possess only the authority granted to them by the Commonwealth over local issues, including limited home rule authority. Most county governments were abolished in the 1990s and 2000s, although a handful remain.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
The law of Massachusetts consists of several levels, including constitutional, statutory, regulatory, case law, and local ordinances. The General Laws of Massachusetts form the general statutory law.