Why Cambridge might remove the Massachusetts flag from its City Council chamber

We voted unanimously to support a pending state resolution to create a special commission to study replacing the Commonwealth’s official seal and flag, which are subject to growing criticism from indigenous peoples and others for the use of symbols of oppression of native peoples. During the May 13 City Council meeting I suggested removing the Commonwealth flag from the City Council’s Sullivan Chamber until a new flag can be designed. Our debate received wide media coverage including this article in the Boston Globe.  In suggesting that the flag simply be moved to a less visible location and intending no disrespect to the Commonwealth as the source of the City’s enabling power, I questioned whether Cambridge, which has chosen to celebrate Indigenous People Day in lieu of Columbus Day, must prominently display a symbol that is painful to members of the public. The mayor will ask the city solicitor how to proceed.

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Jan Devereux
City Councillor
Cambridge, MA