Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Newcomer Pilgrim-Massachusetts Flag

The Culturally Reversed Massachusetts Flag
Thanksgiving is holiday which commemorates the friendship and union of Natives of the New World and Newcomers from the Old World.  In honor of this holiday we have the flag of Massachusetts and a modified version.  The official Massachusetts features an Indigenous American with a bow and arrow, but in a new version we have a pilgrim with a walking stick and Bible.  In addition, the white star is now a white cross.  As with the flag of Oklahoma that has six brown crosses, in many Native American traditions the cross is a symbol that represents a star rather than a method of execution.

The Newcomer-Massachusetts flag is a twice modified flag.  The original version was first presented to vexillologists around the world at the 2009 International Congress of Vexillology in Yokohama.  Peter Orenski gave a thought provoking paper on Controversial Indian [Native American] Symbols on U.S. State Flags.  In an effort to put the proverbial red man's moccasin on the white man's foot, Orenski placed a pilgrim on the shield and replaced the frontier man's sword with a red man's tomahawk. 

Official Massachusetts Flag

But with my modifications, a Native American version of a star is in the canton position of the shield, which is the white plus symbol.  Also, the arm is matches the posture, coming out of the heraldic wreath.  Orenski's version had the hand off set 90 degrees.  Finally, my version has a red field, while Peter's version had white shield for the Pilgrim.

 Dr. Orenski was one of the primary voices in vexillology, who recently passed away last year.  He is sorely missed and was a great inspiration to everyone connected to vexillology.  Originally from Romania, Peter was a bright star in vexillology. This flag is for Peter.  I am ever grateful for his work, as vexillologist who lives in his afterglow.

You can see Peter Orenski's paper here, with original Pilgrim Flag:

Newcomer and Native Designs for the Flag of Massachusetts Compared

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