Seal of Massachusetts

Massachusetts State Seal

Seal of Massachusetts

Adopted in 1885, the Massachusetts state seal displays the arms of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, surrounded by the words "Sigillum Reipublicae Massachusettensis" (Seal of the Republic of Massachusetts in Latin).

Description of arms by legislature: "A shield having a blue field or surface with an Indian thereon, dressed in a shirt and moccasins, holding in his right hand a bow, and in his left hand an arrow, point downward, all of gold; and, in the upper corner of the field, above his right arm, a silver star with five points. The crest is a wreath of blue and gold, on which in gold is a right arm, bent at the elbow, clothed and ruffled, with the hand grasping a broadsword".

The star represents Massachusetts as one of the original thirteen states. The Algonquin Indian holds a native shield and arrow pointing downward to indicate peacefulness.

The state motto is written in gold on a blue ribbon: "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" (By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty).



Massachusetts coat of arms (public domain image on Wikipedia).

Massachusetts coat of arms