Speed Reads

Mass hysteria

Lindsey Graham is really concerned about the Massachusetts state flag

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) would really like to know what's up with that disembodied arm on the Massachusetts state flag:



"What are y'all arguing about with your flag? You got an Indian with a — what's that all about?" Graham asked The Boston Globe and Boston.com during an interview on Thursday. "What is that — is the guy holding a severed arm?"

Graham got on the topic of flags with the Globe after he discussed the controversy in his home state surrounding the removal of the Confederate flag from South Carolina State House grounds following the racially motivated shooting of nine black churchgoers in Charleston (Graham advocated for the flag's removal). And, while Massachusetts' flag "was not immediately visible" during the interview, it was a subject Graham wanted clarified. "Isn't there something about your state flag? I never understood what that was all about," Graham said.

The seal on Massachusetts' flag, which The Boston Globe has called "blindingly archaic," depicts a Native American man holding a bow and arrow, with the arrow pointed down — a peace gesture. The Latin words around the seal translate to, "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty."