Yarmouth Considers Changing Town Seal Over Historical Inaccuracies

Yarmouth's current seal was first adopted in the 1890's. Now, the Board of Selectmen may want to change it, after the town's Historical Commission pointed out inaccuracies in the seal. Photo: Town of Yarmouth, Massachusetts

YARMOUTH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — One town on the Cape is considering changing its town seal after the town's historical commission deemed it inaccurate.

The Yarmouth seal depicts a Wampanoag tribesman holding a bow in front of a teepee, with a backdrop of the ocean and a pine tree. After a request from the public, the Yarmouth Historical Commission researched the seal, and unearthed several historical inaccuracies.

One large difference between the seal and historical reality was that the Wampanoag never lived in teepees, instead living in dome-shaped reed structures called "wetus." Other inaccuracies included the placement of the man's headdress, and the size of his bow.

The Commission said other town seals on the Cape feature pictures of the Wampanoag in teepees, and all of the seals, including Yarmouth's, were designed in the 1890's and early 1900's.

Selectman Daniel Horgan said he'd be supportive of a redesign at the latest town council meeting. "I'd like to see recommendations to bring our seal to a higher plane," he said.

Other Selectmen strongly disagreed, including Michael Stone, who said he thinks "It's a stretch to try to say that because there's a teepee there instead of a wetu, that that's somehow offensive."

Selectwoman Tracy Post echoed that sentiment, saying "...no matter what you come up with, someone's going to be offended."

The board is still undecided on where to go from here.

WBZ's Tim Dunn (@ConsiderMeDunn) contributed reporting.

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Written by Chaiel Schaffel

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