State Flag and Seal

Action Alert!

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Flag and Seal Bill (House Bill H2776/ Senate Bill S1877) will be presented at a hearing at the MA State House on November 19 before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

MAIndigenousAgenda.org and Mass Peace Action are calling for broad support for this bill. Here are some of the ways you can be involved.

1) Go to the Change the Flag and Seal website for information and background on the bill. You can also go to the Massachusetts Indigenous Agenda website for information and updates about this and 4 other bills relating to Indigenous People currently before the MA legislature.

2) The legislation will be heard on November 19 before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

Please contact the members of the Committee and ask them to support Bill S.1877/H.2776. If possible, include a personal anecdote about how you or someone you know has been harmed by the Commonwealth Flag and Seal. Please cc your own state representative and state senator. Sample letter below.

Here are the members of the committee to contact (list of emails below):

Senate

Chair Marc R Pacheco-  marc.pacheco@masenate.gov    
Vice Chair Barry R Finegold– barry.finegold@masenate.gov
Rebecca L. Rausch – becca.rausch@masenate.gov
Paul Feeney – paul.feeney@masenate.gov
Nick Collins- nick.collins@masenate.gov
Dean A. Tran- dean.tran@masenate.gov

House

Chair Danielle W. Gregoire- – danielle.gregoire@mahouse.gov
Vice Chair Sean Garballey- – sean.garballey@mahouse.gov  
Marcos A, Devers- marcos.devers@mahouse.gov
Daniel J. Hunt- daniel.hunt@mahouse.gov
Carmine Lawrence Gentile- carmine.gentile@mahouse.gov
Carlos Gonzalez- carlos.gonzalez@mahouse.gov
David Biele- david.biele@mahouse.gov
Maria Duaime R. Robinson- maria.robinson@mahouse.gov
Norman Orrall (Ranking Minority)- norman.orrall@mahouse.gov
Mathew J. Muratore- mathew.muratore@mahouse.gov   

Be sure to cc info@MAIndigenousAgenda.org and info@masspeaceaction.org  so we know what kind of support we have.       

List of legislators’ emails: Marc.Pacheco@masenate.gov, Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov,
Danielle.Gregoire@mahouse.gov, Sean.Garballey@mahouse.gov, paul.feeney@masenate.gov,  Becca.Rausch@masenate.gov,  Nick.Collins@masenate.gov,  dean.tran@masenate.gov,  marcos.devers@mahouse.gov,  Daniel.Donahue@mahouse.gov,  Daniel.Hunt@mahouse.gov,  carmine.gentile@mahouse.gov,  Carlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.gov,  David.Biele@mahouse.gov,  maria.robinson@mahouse.gov,  norman.orrall@mahouse.gov,  Mathew.Muratore@mahouse.gov        

3) You can also write to your State Representative and State Senator about supporting a change in the state Flag and Seal. A sample letter is below, but it is more effective to send opinions about the issue. To find your legislator, go to the website: https://malegislature.gov/search/findmylegislator. Find your legislator’s name. Click on it and find their address and phone number of each one. Call and write a letter, if you can. Visit them if you have time to express your views.

4) Write testimony directly to the committee for the hearing. Each testimony submission is important for this issue and for the legislators and people of the Commonwealth to hear.

5) Join us at a Rally on the day of the hearing on November 19 at the State House. [Details To Be Determined]  Make your own sign. Encourage others and friends to attend the rally and support the bill.

For more information contact Mass Peace Action and Massachusetts Indigenous Agenda. The MA Indigenous Agenda is coordinating efforts to support FIVE bills statewide on Indigenous issues.

Sample Email/Letter Template to Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Chairs and Members

Dear( Member Chair) of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight:

I am a resident of (town). I am writing in support of Bill S.1877/H.2776 “Resolve providing for the creation of a special commission relative to the seal and motto of the Commonwealth.” I am (a parent, teacher, therapist, person of Indigenous descent, social worker, etc.) and this issue concerns me because (specific reason/s). I ask that this bill be reported out of committee with a favorable vote.

 

Dear {Your District Legislator name}

I am deeply concerned about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Flag and Seal in its present form. For many years it has been the symbol of our State and yet it is overtly racist and offensive. I support the (House bill 2776) (Senate Bill 1877), which would help remove this symbol of hatred and start a search for a more appealing and creative symbol to represent our Commonwealth. I hope that you can also be a sponsor of this bill.

Thank you for supporting this Legislation. 

Sincerely,

Bill Details

Bill Name: Resolve Providing for the creation of a Special Commission relative to the Seal and Motto of the Commonwealth

House Number: H.2776 https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H2776
Senate Number: S.1877 https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S1877

Bill Description: A bill to establish a special commission which shall make recommendations regarding a revised or new design of the seal of the commonwealth and a revised or new motto of the commonwealth – to be comprised of five state legislators, five Native leaders of the Commonwealth, three representatives of major statewide arts organizations, the House and Senate chairs of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Authority, the Secretary of State or her designee, the Mass Historic Commission or her designee, two persons to be appointed by the governor, and the executive director of the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs, who shall chair the special commission.

Contact: daviddetmold@gmail.com / Visit changethemassflag.com to learn more.

House Presenters: Lindsay Sabadosa (D – 1st Hampshire), Nika Elugardo, (D – 15th Suffolk)

Cosponsors of House Bill: Jason M. Lewis, Jack Patrick Lewis, Maria Duaime Robinson, Ruth B. Balser, Michael J. Barrett, Jennifer E. Benson, Natalie M. Blais, Paul Brodeur, Michelle L. Ciccolo, Mike Connolly, Daniel R. Cullinane, Marjorie C. Decker, Mindy Domb, Carmine Lawrence Gentile, Tami L. Gouveia, Jonathan Hecht, Natalie M. Higgins, Patricia D. Jehlen, Kay Khan, David Paul Linsky, Elizabeth A. Malia, Christina A. Minicucci, Denise Provost, Rebecca L. Rausch, David M. Rogers, Thomas M. Stanley, Tommy Vitolo, Susannah M. Whipps

Senate Presenter: Jason Lewis (D – 5th Middlesex)

Cosponsors of Senate Bill: Joanne M. Comerford, Jack Patrick Lewis, Maria Duaime Robinson, Mike Connolly, William N. Brownsberger, Thomas M. Stanley, James B. Eldridge, Adam G. Hinds, Brendan P. Crighton, Patricia D. Jehlen, Michael J. Barrett, Rebecca L. Rausch, Elizabeth A. Malia, Nick Collins, Paul W. Mark, Julian Cyr

Committee: Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight