Massachusetts's current state flag
consists of a white rectangular field, bearing on either
side a centered representation of the coat-of-arms. The
original flag had the coat-of-arms on one side and a pine
tree on the other.
MOTTO: "By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace
Only Under Liberty"
ENTERED UNION: Feb. 6, 1788
FLAG ADOPTED: March 6, 1915 (Revised in 1971)
COMMENTS: Massachusetts is one of only two states
with its own naval
ensign (the other is Maine).
Officially adopted as the state flag
in 1915, it had been used unofficially since the American
Revolutionary War. In 1971 the image on the reverse side of
the flag was changed from the coat-of-arms to a pine tree
(see image below), reflective of the maritime flag of
Massachusetts. The state currently has three official flags:
a state flag, a "naval and maritime flag" (despite it no
longer having its own navy), and a governor's flag.
Original Reverse (1908–1971),
- The country's first planned
industrial community was built around a complex of
textile mills beginning in 1821. By the 1840s Lowell was
a leading industrial center in America.
- Lake Chaubunagungamaug, also
known as Webster Lake, is a lake in the town of Webster,
Massachusetts. Its Native American name is said to mean
in English "Fishing Place at the Boundaries -- Neutral
Meeting Grounds". This is different from the humorous,
more popular translation, "You fish on your side, I'll
fish on my side, and nobody fish in the middle".
- The USS Constitution ('Old
Ironsides'), the oldest, fully commissioned ship in the
U.S. Navy, is permanently docked at Charlestown Navy
- Massachusetts is the home of
the country's first institute of higher learning
(Harvard, 1630), its first printing press (Cambridge,
1638), its first post office (Richard Fairbank's tavern,
Boston, 1639), and its first ironworks (Saugus, 1650).
- The first subway system in the
US was built in Boston in 1897.
- The first Thanksgiving Day was
celebrated in Plymouth in 1621.