One of the original thirteen colonies, Massachusetts joined the union as the sixth American state on February 6, 1788, only twelve years after the United States became a nation.
Officially known as a commonwealth, Massachusetts was the landing place for the Mayflower and the settling point for the Pilgrims. One year after landing in Plymouth, the Pilgrims celebrated the first American Thanksgiving. With nearly 7 million residents, Massachusetts is the most populous of the six New England states, with over 80% of its population living in the Greater Boston area of the state.
Massachusetts is home to Harvard University, the first Higher Education Institution in the United States. It is also the alleged birthplace of the chocolate chip cookie, which in 1997, was designated the official cookie of the commonwealth.
The Flag of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts displays the coat of arms in blue and gold, centered on a white color field. The seal depicts an Algonquin Native American holding a bow and arrow, with the arrow pointing down, signifying peace. The arm above the shield signifies the idea that one would rather lose their right arm than to live under tyranny. The blue ribbon around the shield bears the state motto, “Ense Petit Placidam, Sub Libertate Quietem”, which translates to "By the Sword We Seek Peace, But Peace Only Under Liberty". The single, white, five-pointed star signifies Massachusetts’ admission as a US State.