The quote “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it” is attributed to the American philosopher George Santayana and it can be accurately quoted as “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” as stated in his work, The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense.
As reported in the Lakota Times, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to destroy its history and deny its founding principles. Thus ensuring that their history and the reason the State exists WILL be forgotten AND that the people of Massachusetts and their descendants will indeed be doomed to repeat it.
We are talking about the Coat-of-Arms of the Commonwealth, NOT the “Seal” as the LT article reports. Yes, there is a distinction. 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. Yes, the same John Hancock whose bold signature is at the bottom of the American Declaration of Independence.
For those of us who don’t read much Latin, the motto on the scroll is ““Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem” which means: “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.” The LT story quotes and translates only a part of that motto. Intentionally, I believe.
And despite claims (again in the article) that the sword-bearing arm is that of a “colonist,” look at it and see if there is anything that is conclusive of that fact. Especially given that Massachusetts was no longer a British colony when the Coat of Arms was embedded in the Seal. Nor is the drawn and presented sword necessarily a symbol of attack or superiority or domination. This crest and similar ones are often used in English and Scots heraldry as a symbol of defense and protecting liberty and rights.
The figure on the shield is an Algonquin (precise tribe unknown, possibly Pequot or Narragansett, both with settlements in the Massachusetts Bay area in the 1600s. The AmerInd man depicted is NOT a slave or captive, as he is armed. The understanding is because the arrow in his hand is pointed downward, it is a symbol of armed peace. He is a symbol of all the people of Massachusetts, in my thinking. (Of course, today that is “cultural appropriation.”)
Which matches the full motto. Peace is possible when ALL sides are armed, with good intentions (to the best of their ability) and with all sides enjoying liberty. Keep in mind that this motto was selected in the midst of growing conflict with the United Kingdom and NOT any significant conflict between the various tribes of European and American descent and sharing a homeland. I believe that the use of the AmerInd, whether Pequot and Narragansett or some other nation was a gesture of respect, honor, admiration and even gratitude.
The full motto is NOT an expression of warmongering and conquest, in my view. Rather, it is a simple and very libertarian statement of confidence and warning: to King George III and enemies since.
Apparently in the eyes of many activists, nannies, and frankly, idiots, this coat of arms and seal are evil, and represent (in the best “traditions” of Critical Race Theory and so-called Progressivism) white and European superiority, celebrating victory over the earlier inhabitants, and AngloAmerican domination. As I said, idiotic.
And sure to backfire. Heraldry has MANY values and uses. Identification, recognition of important virtues and values, and history. It is absolutely without question that the early people of Massachusetts, from 1620 (arrival of the Pilgrims) and even before, to the era of the American Revolutionary War, made MANY mistakes with how they dealt with everyone. Not just the local AmerInd and the Crown, but with other Americans (colonials and other AmerInd tribes) and ESPECIALLY their own people: other Puritans, those of other faiths (Christian and not), and even people from other commonwealths. Serious mistakes. Mistakes which we MUST learn from, or else risk repeating them. Mistakes which symbols of the Commonwealth CAN be used to learn about.
But at the same time, these symbols ALSO represent many GOOD things. Even in the eyes of honest modern, so-called Progressives. And in the eyes of many or most of their fellow citizens of the Commonwealth who reject their wokeness and politics and morals. Maturity as people and a society, friendship (even if often broken) with people of other cultures and background, and more. And since 1775, at least until recently, Massachusetts has MUCH to be proud of that has added to the symbolism of this coat of arms and therefore the seal and the state flag which bear it. Proud deeds and changes in attitude, understanding, and liberty which deserve being remembered. And remembered with pride.
But those who want to remove, obliterate, suppress this symbol – like so many others in the Fifty States and around the world – do NOT want the people of Massachusetts to have pride in their history and the deeds of their ancestors. Indeed, do NOT want any memory of the past at all – except whatever the current regime in power pushes as fake history to buttress their propaganda and increase their power.
Which ultimately means that the people of the future, stripped of their history and the lessons they can learn from history, are indeed doomed to repeat the evil deeds and attitudes of their ancestors. AND come up with more of their own.