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Sudbury 2023 Fall Town Meeting Petition Article 14 to Support Changing the Seal and Flag

Mass State Seal 2023

There will be a Special Town Meeting October 23, 2023 at 7PM. Here is a list of the articles. Here is the test for the petition article #14, Resolution in Support of Changing the Massachusetts State Seal and Flag:

Whereas the land area now known as the Town of Sudbury shares a rich Native history with modern tribal nations such as the Nipmuc, who inhabited this area long before the first colonial settlers arrived, in 1638;

Whereas the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s seal and flag portray a sword being held over an indigenous man's head;

Now, therefore, BE IT RESOLVED that the Town of Sudbury hereby adopts this resolution in support of the work of the Special Commission on the Official Seal and Motto of the Commonwealth, established by a Resolve of the General Court in 2021 and appointed by the Governor to recommend changes to the current flag and seal of Massachusetts, and in support of a new flag and seal for the Commonwealth that may better reflect our aspirations for harmonious and respectful relations between all people who now call Massachusetts home. The town clerk shall forward a copy of this resolution to Sen. Nick Collins and Rep. Antonio Cabral, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on State Administration, and Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Carmine Gentile, with the request that they continue their strong support for the work of the aforementioned Special Commission and advocate for a new flag and seal for the Commonwealth.

A group of us collected 130 signatures to get this petition on the warrant. It was perhaps a little overboard to ensure we had 100 valid Sudbury registered voters. Thank you to Katina, Karen, Lily and anonymous and to all who signed. I will attempt to explain my motivation.

I started this Town Meeting article due to insights from the forum organized by Katina Fontes on April 2, 2023 about the 1930 roadside markers. One strong idea was that the Commonwealth Seal which shows a sword being held over an indigenous man can be interpreted as symbolic of the colonialist use of force to subdue the native population. The fact that this seal is on the 1930 roadside markers evokes some strong reactions.... to be fleshed out...

Mark your calendars for October 19th at 7:30PM: Meetinghouse Forum on Article 14: Resolution in Support of Changing the Massachusetts State Seal and Flag:

Hosted by the Sudbury Meetinghouse, 327 Concord Rd, Sudbury MA. ( A panel discussion followed by Questions. Details TBD.

You can find out more about the effort at

2023-09-11     YON - Jan C. Hardenbergh