Assemblyman Mark Walczyk announced Thursday that he has introduced legislation (A.10860) that would claw back a redesign of the New York State Seal that was crammed into the state budget.
The bill proposes to do 3 things:
1. Remove the requirement the state seal also serve as the state flag.
2. Reverses the recent addition of the United States Motto from New York States official seal.
3. Directs the states Office of General Services (OGS) to develop a new state flag.
The 2020-21 budget included adding E Pluribus Unum to the state seal (and flag), a Latin phrase which translates to Out of many, one. Walczyk feels the Governor mislead New Yorkers with his intent regarding the changes and what it really means.
In the months following the change, the Governor has also removed the crown that laid on the ground next to Lady Libertys foot in his new depiction of the state seal. The position of the crown used to represent our states rejection of the monarchy system, before the Governor removed it from the seal.
The state flag is a symbol to rally around, to inspire hope, to grace the shoulders of our State Police, to fly proudly on the flag poles of government buildings. And if we've done it well, it should evoke the deep pride all New Yorkers feel each time we see our flag and we think of the Great State of New York, said Assemblyman Mark Walczyk. It should not be the result of one persons view.
Walczyk went on to say, The Governors message of changing the state flag wasnt about unity, it represents putting the power to make any and all decisions onto one person, himself. Out of many, one. One person says where your tax dollars go and what businesses succeed, what food a restaurant can serve, the list goes on. New York has had enough of the European Monarch-style of government we have had as of late. The Governor needs to relinquish his emergency powers and give the power back to the people. Symbols matter. His removal of the crown from the seal was not lost on me.
The state flag and seal are for everyone and should not be jammed through the budget by one-party rule, at the bullying of one leader. It may seem trite but if were talking symbology, the process here sums it up. E Pluribus Unum? Out of 19 million New Yorkers, one man wants to make all the decisions and he removes the crown from beneath the foot of liberty; placing it on his own head.
The state seal/flag was first designed in 1777. After deliberation, debate and the government seeking feedback from the people they represent, the design was codified into law the following year in 1778. Assemblyman Walczyk was very outspoken about the changes to the states flag during the recent budget process. With the public barred from the Capitol during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, Walczyk called on legislative leaders to pass a barebones budget that would have kept government going to provide essential services to New Yorkers during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.