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Cambridge City City Council sick of state flag

Massachusetts state flag

WBZ reports the Cambridge City Council voted yesterday to see about booting the state flag from its chambers because it shows an arm holding a sword that appears to be ready to decapitate the native American underneath it. The council also voted to support an effort to completely change the state flag.

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The seal of the Commonwealth is as racist as the flag of the Confederacy. The timing of this vote is terrible because Trump will blast Senator Liz Warren for her silence on the issue of removing this racist symbol from all flags.

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Skyrocketing housing prices. Growing homelessness. A recent crop of shootings. Drug use everywhere. Cambridge needs to get off its high horse and tackle its current epidemics.

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The Cambridge City Council is somewhat similar to its Boston counterpart in that its meeting agendas are full of items - it's not like they just met on this one thing, discussed it for several hours and then adjourned.

I don't normally cover the Cambridge council, but when I do (or link to somebody else's coverage), it's because they've done or discussed something of potential interest outside the city.

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The typo in the BZ story aside (motto begins "By the sword", not "By the word") why not have a sword in the state seal? Is Cambridge objecting to the sword or just how it's pointing? That said, the seal-on-a-sheet design is dumb: let's have something colorful that perhaps shows something recognizable. How about a gobbler, rampant?

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...you can learn more here.

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If you have the chance, go down to the Old State House and look up on the Washington Street side. You'll find a plate with the original state seal, which shows a mostly naked native American with a sort of thought balloon above him reading "Come over and help me."

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I always assumed the sword was a nod to the locally celebrated Bedford Flag.

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Somehow made me less inclined to see the Commonwealth change the flag.

I mean, conflating the Mississippi flag issue with the Massachusetts flag? Really? I mean, considering other depictions of Native Americans seen in the history of the United States, including the seal of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay Adam links to on this page, the current seal is a masterpiece of inclusion. Conversely, Mississippi's flag has the loser flag of the South, which additionally has been used as a symbol of white oppression of black people.

But as I always say, if people want to erase Native Americans from all symbols, so be it. Soon it will just be casinos.

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...you're againsty.

Always.

It has nothing to do with thinking, and it absolutely has nothing to do with your pretend concern for recognizing Native Americans.

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Remember the "Massachusetts Welcomes You" signs put up when Weld was Governor?

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Just move it to the supply closet. No one will notice I promise.

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They wanted to make sure there's no state law that requires them to display the state flag first.

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Just move it to the supply closet. No one will notice I promise.

If the objective were to remove the flag from the room, then, yes, what you suggest would have worked fine. But if the objective is virtue signaling, then quietly moving it to the supply closet wouldn't accomplish that goal.

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viRtUe sIGnaLIng

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What's the virtue that they're "signaling?" Spell it out. I'm not sure what it is.

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Im glad that the Cambridge City Council has solved all other pressing issues that they can devote their attention and resources to the flag.

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It's possible to accomplish more than one thing at a time, in fact it's part of their job. Sorry you don't like them addressing this one racially offensive matter?

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I'm glad that you, too, have solved every single one of your pressing issues that you can devote your time to calling out others who — unlike you, apparently — can sit and chew gum and talk policy at the same time.

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This isn't something they came up with. People across the Commonwealth who'd like to see the flag changed are contacting their towns to have this put on the warrant for town meeting, and in cities to bring it before the city council. I provided a link above, you can click on it if you want to learn more and not just manufacture motivations.

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it's an astroturf campaign.

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Thanks for demonstrating that you're merely a willfully ignorant crank and not someone who knows anything about, much less participates in the democratic process.

Block function, Adam.

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A picture of a bunch of rich, bored white people.

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This is the official naval and maritime flag of Massachusetts, and it's a much better flag. We could retire the other one and use this one as the state flag.

IMAGE(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8a/Naval_Ensign_of_Massachusetts.svg/1200px-Naval_Ensign_of_Massachusetts.svg.png)

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And when the weather gets dreary, we could add red stripes to it, and pretend to be Lebanon!

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...but not quite. Lebanon's is a cedar, right?

Not sure what that MA Maritime one is supposed to be. Red spruce?

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Do a bit of research and you'll quickly find that a lot of these symbols with Trees on them come to us from the time when ME was part of MA

Take the final for the cupola on the Gold Dome atop the New State House -- a lot of states have classical revival nubile women [i.e. Texas State Capital Dome topped with the goddess of Liberty] *1

https://www.thestoryoftexas.com/upload/images/artifact-spotlight/2016-03...

what do we have?

A Pine Cone
http://www.statecapitols.tigerleaf.com/images/MApinecone-DellaMHuff.jpg

This comes from the era before ME and MO compromised in 1820 *2

Why don't we replace the Pine Cone with something modern and PC -- such as a gnurdly girl wearing bulky sweatshirt, jeans, LL Bean Boots and "granny glasses" while peering into a binocular phase contrast microscope and simultaneously pumping a bilge pump with her right hand-- aka the goddess of bio-innovation and climate accommodation

PS: the Great Seal and the Arms of Commonwealth as per the wiki text
in case there is a total lack of why what is there is there -- its all about peace and liberty and just like the references to trees and codfish and on the State House -- everything was paying homage to things and people who were important in our collective history

The Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts contains the coat of arms of Massachusetts. The coat of arms is encircled by the Latin text "Sigillum Reipublicæ Massachusettensis" (literally, The Seal of the Republic of Massachusetts).

The Massachusetts Constitution designates the form of government a "commonwealth," for which Respublica is the correct Latin term.

The Seal uses as its central element the Coat of Arms of Massachusetts. An official emblem of the State, the Coat of Arms was adopted by the Legislature in 1775, and then reaffirmed by Governor John Hancock and his Council on December 13, 1780.

The present rendition of the seal was drawn by resident-artist Edmund H. Garrett, and was adopted by the state in 1900. While the inscription around the seal is officially in Latin, a variant with "Commonwealth of Massachusetts" in English is also sometimes used]

The seal was adopted by the Provincial Congress on December 13, 1780. The shield depicts an Algonquian Native American with bow and arrow; the arrow is pointed downward, signifying peace.

A white star with five points appears next to the figure's head. A blue ribbon (blue, signifying the Blue Hills of Quincy, Canton and Milton) surrounds the shield, bearing the state motto "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" This comes from the Book of Mottoes in the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, Denmark; written about 1659 by Algernon Sydney, English soldier and politician. It was adopted in 1775 by the Provincial Congress and the literal translation is, "With a sword, she seeks quiet peace under liberty." Although the looser English translation more commonly used is, "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty."

Above the shield is the state military crest: a bent arm holding a broadsword aloft. The sword has its blade up, to remind that it was through the American Revolution that independence was won.

Refs:

*1 Wielding a sword by the way

*2 The Missouri Compromise was the legislation that provided for the admission of Maine to the United States as a free state along with Missouri as a slave state, thus maintaining the balance of power between North and South in the United States Senate [from Wikipedia

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Not the only state that uses Seal on Bedsheet as a flag...

https://laughingsquid.com/design-of-united-states-state-flags/

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Yeah, never liked it! I'm down for a total redesign.

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1. This is stupid and the Cambridge City Council's reasoning is asinine

2. The MA flag is pretty crappy. Bunker Hill Flag is far superior

">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri2eOxhcZ_w[/youtube]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_New_England#/media/File:Bunker_Hil...

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The shield of blue represents the Blue Hills of Canton and Milton, Massachusetts. The Indian depicted on the shield, Massachuset, is shown carrying the arrow with its tip pointed downward to indicate a friendly demeanor. The silver star of the coat of arms is designated as white (instead of silver) for the flag and represents Massachusetts as one of the thirteen original colonies of the United States.

The motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem, is printed in gold on a blue ribbon. It can be translated as "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty." This motto is supported by the ruffle sleeved arm grasping a sword that is depicted above the shield.

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This is hardly a new issue.

Like 20 years ago, state Rep. Byron Rushing of the South End was trying to get the seal changed for the same reason - that the arm looks like it's about to slice off the Indian's head. Obviously, his attempts at a legislative fix never worked.

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about the meaning of the flag and its elements instead of automatically decrying it as "racist" and demanding that it be changed.

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if only there were a region-specific website with an owner who pores over local happenings and presents his detailed findings in chronological order for anyone to see

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Perhaps they could get the staff of the Harvard Lampoon to design a new one.

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Changing it wipes out the history. Why can't they say "look at this flag, it was designed when we were dumb f*cks" and use it as a lesson rather than pretending everything didn't happen.

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But the flag is sort of everywhere. If you paint your living room a color that you eventually decide you don't like, you repaint it in a different color; you don't leave it that way as a memorial to your poor decorating sense. The old flag will be in the history books if anyone wants to look at it.

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Flawed historical images belongs in books, not on current city flags.

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well, several actually:

1. Hammer and sickle. Oldie but a goodie.

2. The Saudi flag. Keep the sword, plus some Arabic to signal how un-whatever-phobic this great state is.

3. The word 'woke' written Jackson Pollack-style over the same white background in a rainbow of colors in all the languages that signal positive oppression points.

4. No flag at all. Flags connote colonialism. And nationalism. And all the other icky isms. And slapping the state or city seal on buildings or trash trucks legitimizes the concept of "ownership" and "property," which is, as we know, a legacy of the irredeemable racist sexist phallocentric past.

5. A herd of ponies galloping gracefully across the plain.

6. A Confederate battle flag, except with outlines of Massachusetts for the stars, to commemorate (in ironic fashion), the time that the New England states wanted to secede from the newly-formed United States during the War of 1812.

7. A backwards white swastika on a black background surrounded by a green circle. Because ANTI-fascism.

8. Pepe the Frog hanging upside down from a (solar-powered) lamp post with the caption, "Sic Semper Ranis"

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9. A new flag design every day, updated in the same manner that Google keeps changing its logo.

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I'll start a gofundme today, Adam. Just say the word.

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Reminds me of another Gofundme to build a big, beautiful wall.

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Biggest and most beautifulist

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...what happened to that money?

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Are you okay man? You know there is other stuff to do besides dislike things or focus on things people like that you might not like personally. It's okay to have different views but the above tirade seems like a caricature of a person rather than a real person.

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You can't get any more Cambridge than this.
They should scrub the library of any "problematic " literature while they're at it.

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of TV shows like Wagon Train and F Troop.

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they're made of icky plastic.

Carve-out for vinyl records, though. Because hipster.

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yeah man i read my flag every day

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If virtue signaling means "we understand this flag is insulting to native Americans and doesn't reflect who we want to be as a state," than yes, I guess that's virtue signaling.

You know the flag is a friggin' signal, right? Shouldn't it signal who we are, or at least who we aspire to be? Or is that too "Cambridge" for you to understand?

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Since that is EXACTLY what you and Roman are doing here.

HEY LOOK AT ME ME ME ME ME!!! I'M SPECIAL AND NOT CARING ABOUT THIS THING I'M GETTING UPSET ABOUT.

ME ME ME ME ME ME ME!!!!! LOOOOOOOOK!!!! MEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

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The flag doesn't bother me so why should it be changed?

Sure, it may bother other people a great deal and a change would have zero impact on my life while showing respect to those other people, but those people aren't me, so I don't understand why we are even discussing this.

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It bothers people who are professional victims. Whatever you change the flag to, you will find people who can be enormously, greatly, bigly, personall offended by it.

There are people in this country who are offended by the flag of the United States. Not necessarily for its form but for what it stands for.

Some of them will choose to pick their battles by focusing on its form. They will concoct a reason for why its form is offensive in an effort to guilt well-meaning people into conceding territory. It's merely a power play. A mature and healthy society does not allow itself to become tangled in petty power plays.

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It's funny because Native Americans are about as close as you can get to professional victims in this country (not by choice, mind you).

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Every civilization in the history of the planet has done nasty things to those it conquered.

Should the French still be holding on to their grudge against the Italians for Caesar's conquest of Gaul? Is it a good idea for the Irish to keep reminding themselves that the English colonized their island? Should those of us with Anglo ancestry refuse to use words with Latin-by-way-of-French etymology because of that William The Conqueror thing? What about reverting to Celtic? Let's rile up some Welsh nationalism!

Every person living in every civilization today or since time immemorial could have found a way that he or some ancestor of his was wronged by his neighbor or his neighbor's kinfolk. This is tribalism. In the less civilized parts of Papua New Guinea, people still live that way: go a few hundred yards up or down the valley and you're on someone else's turf and you've forfeited your life.

The good thing about Western civilization, especially as it is instantiated in settler societies like the United States, where everyone is from somewhere, is that the repression of the instinct toward tribalism and grievance-mongering is built into the system.

Don't unbuild it.

That requires requires having a thick skin and brushing off minor slights. It requires constant mental effort, as it is contrary to the in-built nature of the human mind. But everyone is capable of doing it and partaking of the benefit of membership in the broader society.

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"Other people did bad stuff so who cares?" Similar to the "I saw a bicyclist run a red light" argument, now that I think of it.

I thought that conservatives were supposed to be the ones who *opposed* moral relativism, but what do I know.

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is a funny thing. If the standard is "thou shalt absolutely not offend," then it's a recipe for the deconstruction of the self, given that even if one benefits from a past deed deemed offensive, then that in itself can be construed as offensive.

So that's kind of a bad standard then, isn't it?

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If the standard is "thou shalt absolutely not offend,"

Nobody ever said it was. The standard in this case is "Don't be racist", which seems like a significantly higher bar and not particularly onerous.

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Here's some stuff that falls under "racist" these days:

“When I look at you, I don’t see color.”
“There is only one race, the human race.”
“America is a melting pot.”
“I don’t believe in race.”
“I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”
“America is the land of opportunity.”
“Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”

And here's some stuff that falls under the leftie defintion of "sexist":

“Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.”
"Gender plays no part in who we hire.”

Source:
https://academicaffairs.ucsc.edu/events/documents/Microaggressions_Examp...

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... he wrote, without a hint of irony.

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reminds me of this https://am14.akamaized.net/med/cnt/uploads/2019/01/hannity-3.jpg

apparently i dont know how to post links or pics on here *shrug*

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Cry me a trail of tears

You are a completely worthless waste-of-skin troll. Adam, block function.

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...doesn't he. Getting worse and worse.

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Don't read.

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You know, the reason people like you came here on refugee visas and are now letting us all know how and why we should have just let you be massacred?

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Joke all you want. Just don't act it out unless you want to catch a bullet between the eyes.

See how America is supposed to work?

What's that? I missed your point? I should show some compassion?

Compassion has boundaries. If everyone in dire straights the world over is owed a green card, that's hundreds of millions of people. Not workable. Life isn't fair.

I got lucky, for which I thank the good graces of God and America, but it is all the more incumbent on me to remind the denizens of my new home to not turn this place into the kind of shithole place that people flee from. And I have to keep making those little reminders because there is a well-documented and self-evident tendency of people in the wealthy west, with nothing but good intentions, to agitate for eating our seedcorn today the better to not have any left for tomorrow.

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Have a smallpox blanket - and go back to whereverthefuck you came from - be that Indiana, Russia, or Dumbfuckistan.

You have no clue about anything, including the meaning of "astroturf organization". Or the very easy to learn about local history.

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Explain to me in words that you yourself can understand why it is that I should give a flying fuck about smallpox blankets as anything other than a historical footnote.

Really explain it. Tell me why my life today should be devoted to atonement for the sins of people with whom neither I, nor anyone in my family, nor anyone in the family of anyone except perhaps some of the Daughters of the American Revolution, had anything to do with?

And if you manage that, if you manage to explain with an actual explanation why the smallpox blankets should be center stage, then explain to me why it should stop there. Why shouldn't every single instance of one group of people using force against another since time immemorial should not be the center of our lives?

Why should the Catholics not still be bitter about us Jews selling Jesus out to the Romans?

Why should the Irish not be seething with rage at the English?

Why should the French not take it out on Italy for Caesar's military adventures in Gaul?

Hell, why shouldn't the French and the Poles and the Czechs and the Russians march into Germany and help themselves to whatever they've got coming to them. That can't fail.

Why shouldn't South Africa erupt into an orgy of violence and retribution?

Why shouldn't Uganda join in the fun?

Why should the Rohingyas and the Burmese Budhists not be nursing their grudges for the rest of the history of the human race until the Sun burns out?

Come on Swirly! Tell us about the virtues of hate and righteous rage!

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and you'll be there to tell both groups why they shouldn't be offended at all. i mean, after all, Roman isn't offended - so why should anyone else be?

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a functioning society cannot function if people allow themselves to be offended over nothing to the point where they drop what they're doing and instead spend their energies haranguing their fellow citizens over matters of subjective taste.

People need a thicker skin. Period.

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This is like unraveling Zeno's paradox: all you have to do is examine the premise. Bullshit premise, bullshit conclusion. As always. Thanks for the consistency, Roman.

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Roman is telling us what we're allowed to be offended by! Pay attention!

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Scratchie is being snarky and expects us to cower as a result.

Roman is one of the few people I actually enjoy reading on this board. He makes sense more often than not. If other people don't think so, that's a shame. This is a place for fair exchange of ideas and Roman's are generally quite well thought out.

OK, carry on. I'm going back under my rock.

Suldog

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I understand his argument on how it is not good form to get perpetually offended, period. However, his argument of how, we should all chill cause throughout history, people did bad things to other people, negates that evils that our country did to Native Americans as well as those we dragged from Africa to enslave.

The arm, on the this flag, is of Myles Standish. Now, Standish, was not really keen on the native peoples and did some pretty brutal things to them. So I can understand the Council's take on how the flag, with his arm holding a sword raised over a Native American, needs to go.

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How do you conclude that the arm on the flag is that of Myles Standish? From reading the official description and history of the seal, I would surmise that it is the arm of some pissed off colonist circa 1775. But then again, that is just speculation on my part, since every description just says "an arm." Since Myles Standish was never in Massachusetts (technically) I'd say that my theory might hold just a little bit more weight.

But seriously, folks. If the end result were the sword being gone or somehow rendered less threatening looking, would that really satisfy people?

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noun: imposter
a person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others, especially for fraudulent gain.

The menacing sword over the Indian is a painful reminder of Cambridge's own Elizabeth Warren cutting down Native Americans whose heritage and identity she expropriated for her own benefit. Naturally, Cambridge would want to get rid of any such memory trigger.

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...here's Fishy rushing in to defend people he doesn't give two shits about because it'll give him a chance to grind his favorite ax.

Get some new material, Fish, you stink.

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If anyone is an IMPOSTOR, it is the Fakeass Cop wannabe guy who wanted a passport stamp from a national airport and doesn't know how social security numbers are issued, but claims as a cop that he'd arrest people if theirs didn't match their state of birth.

Give it a rest, pops. It seems that sword is just a reminder of how you seem to think electing a woman to the senate magically cut your balls off.

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IMAGE(https://rlv.zcache.com/svc/view?culture=en-us&id=4a8a7c2b-154e-4fe9-9bf9-c03d684dadf0&max_dim=140&topdt=zazzle_button&transferMode=featurizedlite)

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It's just a bad flag. It's a seal and not a flag. It's a separate debate whether the seal should be changed.

TED Talk on Bad Flag Design

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Aesthetically, it is an utterly lousy flag design.

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But it is definitely mid pack.

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Actually all you need say is Cambridge City Council -- its the punchline and butt of so many jokes -- which would all be funny if they weren't pathetic

Beginning with the fact that the Mayor is not elected by the electorate as a Mayor -- but by the Council from its members -- a sort of a "Titular" position -- Real power is in the hands of the City Manager [appointed by the City Council]*1

The Council is the result of some sort of Byzantine preferential voting process dominated by de facto "parties" even though its a non- partisan election

Some other sizzling moments -- Cambridge Council votes to ban Recombinant DNA research -- just a bit before the modern version of Kendall Square

Cambridge Council votes to ban Nuclear Research -- apparently members were unaware of what was inside that big concrete dome over by the corner of Mass Ave and Albany St. -- hint its a Nuclear Reactor

and so it goes

*1

The mayor is elected by the city councilors from among themselves, and serves as the chair of city council meetings. The mayor also sits on the school committee. The mayor is not the city's chief executive. Rather, the city manager, who is appointed by the city council, serves in that capacity.

Under the city's Plan E form of government, the city council does not have the power to appoint or remove city officials who are under direction of the city manager. The city council and its individual members are also forbidden from giving orders to any subordinate of the city manager.

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Yesterday I read about Missouri, yet another state attacking the right of women to choose.
The war on women's reproductive rights continues unabated, yet Cambridge worries about cosmetic issues like a flag. How very privileged.

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Some people can walk and chew gum at the same time. Sorry you can't.

By the way, what's the Cambridge City Council supposed to do about Missouri's state laws?

Go read upthread and learn about this whole flag thing. You'll learn about why it's a thing in Cambridge and across the state. Can't be bothered to learn how government works? Then don't comment.

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