Manataka American Indian Council

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FEATURE

 

Bring Down the Racist Massachusetts Flag!

 

On a white field is a blue shield emblazoned with the image of a Native American, Massachusetts. He holds a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other. The arrow is pointing downward representing peace. The white star represents Massachusetts as one of the original thirteen states. Around the shield is a blue ribbon with the motto: " By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace Only Under Liberty". Above the shield is a arm and sword, representing the first part of the motto.

 

  

Sunshine of the Americas Foundation Sues

the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Federal Court

 

Sword of Myles Standish hacks away at the head of American Indians!


In
December of 2011, a law suit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was filed by Reverend Danny De Gug, founder of the Cambridge Sunshine Foundation also known as the Sunshine of the Americas Foundation demands that Massachusetts change it state flag first adopted in 1901.  The flag was used unofficially since the American Revolution as the ensign of the Massachusetts State Navy.  In 1971, an earlier design of a simple pine tree was replaced by the current design.

 

The flag of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts displays, on both sides, the state coat of arms centered on a blue field. The shield depicts an Algonquian American Indian with a bow and arrow; the arrow is pointed downward, signifying peace. The arm itself is the Goliad symbol common in early Texas flags and signifying the philosophy that those represented would rather lose their right arm than live under tyranny. A white star with five points appears next to the figure's head, signifying Massachusetts' admission as the sixth U.S. state. A blue ribbon surrounds the shield, bearing the state motto Ense Petit Placidam, Sub Libertate Quietem ("By the Sword We Seek Peace, But Peace Only Under Liberty"). Above the shield is the state military crest; the bent arm of Myles Standish holding a broadsword aloft. The sword has its blade up, to remind that it was through the American Revolution that liberty was won.

 

Rev. Danny De Gug feels that all the atrocities, raping American Indian identity, forced religious indoctrination, theft of over two million acres is reason enough to file a federal law suit that will benefit the tribes of Massachusetts.

 

                        
 

“...After killing the defeated Chief, he {Standish} mounted the severed head on a pole in front of Plymouth Colony as a warning” It is recorded that the pole and head remained mounted on a hill for many years to intimidate the Natives!..."  Encyclopedia of Native American Wars and Warfare (page 306) by William B. Kessel, Robert Wooster

Danny De Gug said the present state flag is proof of Massachusetts' genocidal past and sustaining a state flags and seal that depicts American Indian in a demeaning fashion is proof of it's current racial bias. 

 

Among his court filings is Exhibit "F" that states, "...The State of Massachusetts has a peculiar image on its original seal of 1780 and its images of today on both seal and flag. The history of the Nation state of Massachusetts has a genocide attached to its history. Tremendous force against its Root, First Nation Peoples resulted in forced religious indoctrinations and full-scale wars to take away their lands and identities. Thanksgiving day is a hard day to swallow, so Native First nations declare that day, a day of mourning.

 

The flag has body parts unlike the Swastika and Confederate flag, the arm and sword of a known murderer of Natives, is Myles Standish. Above in the seal/flag is a surrendered Native with the words under the Native “Peace by the sword” it is quite obvious in its intimidating and barbaric non-nuance that cruelty is not to be a part of our State, only fair play and wisdom."

 

In a email to Manataka, De Gug wrote, "Since December of 2011, we have been involved in a court case challenging the propriety of the current Massachusetts seals and state flags that are well known within the Native American communities of New England.... it is well known as a more than obvious insult and denigration... to Native Americans in Massachusetts in particular and the western hemisphere!"

 

De Gug has talked with a number of tribes in Massachusetts, including the  Assonet Band of Wampanoags;-- Chappaquiddic Band of Massachusetts; Council of Seven/Royal House of Pokanoket / Pokanoket Tribe/Wampanoag Nation; Cowasuck Band of Pennacook Abenaki People; Federation of old Plimoth Indian Tribes, Inc.; Historical Nipmuc Tribe;--Narragansett Tribal of Indians;-- Natick Nipmuc Indian Council; New England Coastal Schaghticoke Indian Association and Tribal Council; Pocasset Wampanoag Indian Tribe; Quinsigamond Band of the Nipmucs; and the Pokanoket Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation.-Ponkapoag Tribal Council.  However, none of the groups want anything to do with the law suit and refuse to join the legal battle.

 

On April 24, 2012, Degug met with the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs seeking their support for his campaign, but the Commissioner Herbert Waters said, "...We are all in support of changing the flag and the Commission had been working on it for years to no avail. He said we will lay low for awhile because we have other issues to lend support to at this time." Waters wished Rev. DeGug well in his efforts.

 

John Peters, Jr., a Mashpee Indian and executive director of the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs, who also advocated the seal change, said "it's time history was accurately reflected. Yes, {the sword,} over the Indian's head is part of history, and that (settlers) subdued the Native Americans and took their land, but it, {the sword over the Native} is demeaning."

 

Why tribes and American Indian groups in Massachusetts have not volunteered to support DeGug is an open question.  But, he is not without support.  State Representative Byron Rushing of the Massachusetts legislature, who has led an effort to change the state's seal for some two decades. In October 2007, he stated that "the seal is anti-Indian, including placement of the sword over the Indian's head, the inappropriate slogan and the inaccurate attire."

 

Danny De Gug, also known as Reverand Daniel De Guglielmo, is a television director and interviewer at CCTV in Cambridge and BNN in Boston.  He is also president of the Sunshine of the Americas Foundation, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


De Gug said the "Americas Foundation is a non-profit inter-faith organization
dedicated to fighting injustice directed against women and men by religious organizations."  De Gug ordains individuals for free and has a website, http://www.WordofHonor.org

 

HISTORY

"The action we originally sought in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston, MA was to have the court declare the flag, depicting both the arm and the sword of Captain Myles Standish, who “served” as the commander for the Pilgrims in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the forerunner of the State of Massachusetts to be an affront to Native peoples as a violation of civil rights today!


Myles Standish was not a benevolent parish priest in Plymouth, Massachusetts but rather the mere mention of his name amongst Native Americans brings up much anger and emotional pain because he is sadly regarded as “an enemy” of Native Americans. He is known as the commander of the Pilgrims and was instrumental in the Wessagusett Massacre and the Nemasket Raid where Native Americans were executed after a social meeting with Standish and other colonists."


In 1900, E. H. Garrett was commissioned to design the state seal for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  He later was quoted in the February, 1901 issue of New England Magazine where he called American Indians "savages" and went on to say, "...although there were without doubt left-handed men amongst the savages."  Garret also said, "...using the Indian figure in his design was of “little essense...”  Garrett seems to have expressed the sentiments
of a majority of the state legislators when he said, "...Long hair, it seems was a prerogative of savage manhood... During the progress of the work of preparing the [state] seal many people objected that an Indian did not and should not stand for the state of Massachusetts. That the reputation of the Indian is bad in our country may not be denied, and the writer, who knows but little about him cannot undertake his deference. Truth is that many of those who know him best are his greatest foes and detractors.”

 

De Gug feels those statements and other facts concerning the origin and current purpose of the state flag and seal uncovered racist intentions behind the design and use by the state of Massachusetts.

 

De Gug's original law suit was dismissed by the Superior Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court, they sustained the lower court dismissal on the basis that no American Indians were enrolled or signed on as a complainant in the case. 

 

De Gug is currently contacting all the tribes and American Indian groups in Massachusetts in an effort to enlist their support by becoming co-litigants in the law suit.

 

"We have been informed by the Appeals Court and legal counsel that we stand a much better chance of having this flag changed if we were to file a whole new action, with the name and names of actual Native Americans along with Native American organizations being an integral part of the new suit, and more importantly, make it a class action law suit.  Yes, I believe in the notion that there is  strength in numbers when fighting injustice.  The new law suit will be filed in federal court," said De Gug.


"Our suit will ask the court to bring down this racist flag because it singles out Native Americans for disparate treatment, in that they are pictured and visualized below the sword and the arm of Standish, a known terrorist who subjugated indigenous people here in Massachusetts," De Gug said.

 

If he wins in court, Reverend Danny De Gug wants Massachusetts to change its flag and seal plus pay for 50,000 acres of recreational and familial lands for American Indians. He also wants one billion dollars in reparations for Massachusetts to “officially atone” for its many atrocities and mass murders of natives, too numerous to mention since the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and later the state of Massachusetts.  Reparation funds would be used to design and construct homes, sacred burial grounds, and farming developments.

 

De Gug said, "The 50,000 acres of Mother Earth is because our ancestors cry out for justice, fair play and honor!"

 

Rev. De Gug invites all Massachusetts tribes, individual American Indian descendants and groups to contact the Sunshine of the Americas Foundation at (617) 876-4144 or SunshineMilkyway@yahoo.com or  http://www.WordofHonor.org


Controversial Indian Symbols on U.S. State Flags

http://www.manataka.org/page1189.html

 


 

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