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1901 officially adopted

1908 to 1971 The Massachusetts flag was two-sided.

1915 flag depicted the Commonwealth coat of arms on one side on a white field. On the other side was blue shield with a pine tree on it, a symbol of the value placed on wood by the settlers of Massachusetts.

1971 the earlier pine tree was replaced by the current design that is the coat of arms on a white field on both sides of the flag,

Massachusetts is one of two states that has its own naval banner.

Consists of:

  • State’s coat of arms consisting of an Algonquian Native American (early inhabitants) holding a bow and arrow.
  • The bow represents readiness to protect the land bravely.  The arrow is pointed down, signifying peace.
  • White star has five points representing the state is the sixth to be admitted to the United States.
  • Algonquian Native Americans are the early inhabitants of Massachusetts who were mainly of the Algonquian language.
  • Blue shield represents the blue hills located in Canton and Milton, Massachusetts.
  • A ribbon featuring the state motto in Latin. “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.”
  • Hand holding a sword with the blade up signifying the liberty that was won through the American Revolution.