|Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts|
|Armiger||Commonwealth of Massachusetts|
|Adopted||December 13, 1780|
|Motto||Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem|
|Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts|
The simplified coat of arms used in the state flag and larger signage
Historical coat of arms (1876)
|Armiger||Commonwealth of Massachusetts|
|Blazon||Azure, a Native American passant. Holding in his dexter hand a bow, holding in his sinister hand an arrow. All Or. In dexter chief a mullet of 5 Argent.|
|Motto||Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem|
The Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts contains the coat of arms of Massachusetts. The coat of arms is encircled by the Latin text "Sigillum Reipublicæ Massachusettensis" (literally, The Seal of the Republic of Massachusetts). The Massachusetts Constitution designates the form of government a "commonwealth," for which Respublica is the correct Latin term. The Seal uses as its central element the Coat of Arms of Massachusetts. An official emblem of the State, 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.While the inscription around the seal is officially in Latin, a variant with "Commonwealth of Massachusetts" in English is also sometimes used.
The first seal of Massachusetts Bay Colony showed a nude American Indian with a bush covering his groin. Like the current seal, he held in his hand an arrow pointed down. A scroll came out over his mouth with the words "Come over and help us." This quotation is believed to originate from Acts 16:9: "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us." (Authorized Version). This initial seal thus emphasized the missionary and commercial intentions of the original colonists.
In June 1676, during King Philip's War, the Bay Colony ordered an updated version of this seal stamped onto medallions which were issued to Indian Christians fighting on behalf of Boston. This seal removed the peaceful slogan of the original seal, replacing it with the message, “In the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this Land / They giving us peace and mercy at their hands.”In 1689-1692, after the end of the war, the original slogan was temporarily revived. However, the gradual loss of the missionary message was part of a pattern throughout the British colonies at this time, as the experience of war dampened enthusiasm for conversion and integration.
In 1775 a Revolutionary seal appeared, depicting a minuteman with a sword in his right hand and the Magna Carta in his left; following the Revolutionary War, the sword would later be incorporated into the crest of the traditional coat of arms. The Revolutionary seal would also mark the first time the Latin motto used by the state today appeared on a state seal, and meant that the colony no longer recognized the authority of the Royal Governor General Thomas Gage. The source is attributed to the letter written by a father of an English soldier and politician Algernon Sidney: "It is said that the University of Copenhagen brought their album unto you, desiring you to write something therein; and that you did scribere in albo these words: 'Manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem'". (Translated, this means "This hand of mine, which is hostile to tyrants, seeks by the sword quiet peace under liberty.") The last words were then written in Sidney's "Book of Mottoes", particularly favored by some in the American colonies. Metrically, the motto is dactylic hexameter.
The next seal was adopted by the Provincial Congress on December 13, 1780. The shield depicts an "Indian" with bow and arrow; the arrow is pointed downward, signifying peace. A silver star with five points appears next to the figure's head, although this is represented as white on the flag. A blue ribbon (blue, signifying the Blue Hills of Quincy, Canton and Milton) surrounds the shield, bearing the state motto "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem." This comes from the Book of Mottoes in the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, Denmark; written about 1659 by Algernon Sydney, English soldier and politician. It was adopted in 1775 by the Provincial Congress and the literal translation is, "With a sword, she seeks quiet peace under liberty." Although the looser English translation more commonly used is, "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty." Above the shield is the state military crest: a bent arm holding a broadsword aloft. The sword has its blade up, to remind that it was through the American Revolution that independence was won.
The current form of the 1780 seal was adopted in 1890, replacing the Massachusetts Indian with a composite. The composite's head was taken from a Chippewa chief in Montana.
A stained glass window at the top of the Grand Staircase at the State House shows all the seals used in Massachusetts, including the royal seals of the Governors during colonial days.
Civil advocates demanded that the imagery in the State Seal (and on the Flag of Massachusetts that displays it) had to change, due to the Colonial broadsword's placement directly above the Native American depiction's head as a "form of white supremacist imagery".
The Great Seal is a principal national symbol of the United States. The phrase is used both for the physical seal itself, which is kept by the United States Secretary of State, and more generally for the design impressed upon it. The obverse of the Great Seal depicts the national coat of arms of the United States.
The coat of arms of the state of New York was formally adopted in 1778, and appears as a component of the state's flag and seal.
The Governor of Massachusetts, officially the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the chief executive of the Government of Massachusetts and serves as commander-in-chief of the commonwealth's military forces.
The flag of the state of Michigan depicts the state's coat of arms on a dark blue field, as set forth by Michigan state law. The state has an official flag month from June 14 through July 14.
The flag of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the flag of Massachusetts. It has been represented by official but limited-purpose flags since 1676, 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.
The current coat of arms of Zimbabwe was adopted on 21 September 1981, one year and five months after the national flag was adopted. Previously the coat of arms of Zimbabwe was identical to the former coat of arms of Rhodesia.
The Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia is the official seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a U.S. state. The state flag of Virginia consists of the obverse of the seal against a blue background. A state flag was first adopted at the beginning of the American Civil War in April 1861, readopted in 1912, and standardized by the General Assembly in February 1950. The current version is the only U.S. state flag depicting nudity: the standing allegorical figure of virtue has an exposed breast in the manner of classical depictions of Amazons. She has just vanquished tyranny, who is symbolized by the fallen king. "So always tyrants," it means. The flag may be decorated with a white fringe along the fly edge; this is usually done when the flag is displayed indoors.
The Great Seal of the State of Michigan depicts the coat of arms of the U.S. state of Michigan on a light blue field. On the dark blue shield the Sun rises over a lake and peninsula, a man holding a long gun with a raised hand represents peace and the ability to defend his rights. The elk and moose are symbols of Michigan, while the bald eagle represents the United States.
The coat of arms of Puerto Rico was first granted by the Spanish Crown in 1511, making it the oldest heraldic achievement still currently in use in the Americas. The territory was ceded by Spain to the United States in accordance to the peace treaty that ended the Spanish–American War in 1899, after which two interim arms were adopted briefly. A law was passed in 1905 that re-established the historical armorial bearings as the arms of the territory; after numerous investigations and amendments, the current version was adopted in 1976.
The olive branch is a symbol of peace or victory allegedly deriving from the customs of ancient Greece, particularly regarding supplication to both the gods and persons in power and is found in most cultures of the Mediterranean basin. It became associated with peace in modern Europe and is also used in the Arab world. Despite claims of Ancient Greek origins, the symbol first appears in Ancient Egypt as a symbol of peace many centuries before appearing in ancient Greek mythology.
The state seal of New York features the state arms surrounded by the words "The Great Seal of the State of New York". A banner below shows the New York State motto Excelsior, Latin for "Ever Upward", and the secondary motto E Pluribus Unum, Latin for "Out of Many, One"—adopted in 2020.
The Great Seal of the State of New Mexico is the official seal of the U.S. State of New Mexico and was adopted in 1913.
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."
The Seal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was adopted in December 1792. Since that time, it has undergone several revisions. The current seal depicts two men, one in buckskin, and the other in more formal dress. The men are facing each other and clasping hands. The outer ring of the seal is adorned with the words "Commonwealth of Kentucky", and within the inner circle is the state motto "United we stand, divided we fall." The official colors of the seal are blue and gold. A version of the seal appears on the flag of Kentucky.
The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the United States Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
The coat of arms of Connecticut is an official emblem of the state of Connecticut, alongside the seal and state flag. The General Assembly of Connecticut adopted a design for the official arms of the state on March 24, 1931, which it ordered to be drawn and filed with the Secretary of the State.
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Advocates claim that Massachusetts is "the last U.S. state whose flag includes representations of white supremacy" now that Mississippi has retired the confederate state flag.