Judith Harrington is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and she’s offended. She doesn’t like the image on Minnesota’s state seal that appears on the state flag
“The image of the pioneer, a peaceful man who has laid down his gun and is plowing his field, is juxtaposed with the image of the Indian, who may still want to fight (his spear is at the ready) but who seems to be riding away,” writes Judith Harrington.
“The pioneer/farmer is using a plow, a symbol of civilization. The white man is depicted as a ‘doer’ who is entitled to the land, trees and water, empowered by the concept of Manifest Destiny. The Indian is the vacating tenant. A peaceful transition is suggested, but this ignores the tense and problematic history of conflict between European settlers and Indians, such as the complicated history of treaties and the Dakota War of 1862.
“A close examination shows the central figure to be a white pioneer dressed in work clothes…”