Revised legislation issued Friday, January 14th, from the office of Representative Lindsay Sabadosa (D-Northampton), lead sponsor of the Change the Mass Flag and Seal legislation in the House, at least Six Native Leaders of Massachusetts will sit on a special commission to determine how Native images or Native symbols are used on the Massachusetts State Flag and Seal.
In the Senate, lead sponsors: Senator Jo Comerford, (Hampshire-Franklin-Worcester) and Jason Lewis (D-Fifth Middlesex) will file companion legislation.
Natives Will Decide
The new language strengthens the legislation by clearly stating the current symbol of our Commonwealth – a Native American man with a Colonial broadsword over his head – will change!
A strong presence of Native People from Massachusetts will be seated among the 20 member special commission who will decide the design for the new Massachusetts Flag and Seal.
There will be twenty seats on the special commission. Five will be reserved for Native People from Massachusetts; five will be reserved for state legislators; one seat will be for the secretary of state, the chair of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Mass Cultural Council, the Mass Arts Commission, the Mass Council on Arts and Humanities; the House and Senate chairs of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Authority, and the last two seats will be reserved for people “who shall be appointed by the governor.”
The legislative calendar allows only a narrow window for advocates of changing the state flag and seal to get in touch with their legislators and urge them to co-sponsor the bill. The more co-sponsors we can sign up in the next two weeks, the stronger the bill’s chance of passing.
Action Needed Now!
Call or write your state representative and your state senator to ask them to co-sponsor the bill.
If you are able to, meet with them in person, ask your state representative and senator for a meeting so you can discuss the need to change the state flag and seal with them directly. Urge your state representative and your state senator not only to co-sponsor but also to actively support the bill.
The deadline for new co-sponsors to sign on to the bill is Friday, Feb 1st.
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