Massachusetts, one of the original 13 colonies of the United States, is one of only two states to have a state flag and a naval and maritime ensign. The original design of the Massachusetts state flag had a design on one side and a green pine tree on a field of white on the back. The pine tree design serves now as the naval ensign. The Massachusetts flag, approved in its final form, consists of the Massachusetts coat of arms on both sides. On the coat of arms is an Algonquin Native American from the Massachuset tribe, who is carrying a bow and arrow pointing downward in peace. A white star by the figure’s head signifies Massachusetts as the 6th state admitted into the Union. On a blue ribbon around the shield are the Latin words meaning “By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace Only under Liberty,” the state motto. This motto is also reflected by the bent arm at the top of the shield holding a broadsword blade up.
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