Summer 2016

Coquillette Book Leads to Removal of Disputed Seal

BCSum16_D_Impact_02In response to student protests inspired by BC Law Professor Daniel Coquillette’s book laying bare Harvard’s historic connections to slavery, the university decided this past spring to replace its law school’s official shield. Based on the coat of arms of the family of Isaac Royall, an 18th century slaveholder who established Harvard’s first law professorship, the ubiquitous shield had been the symbol of Harvard Law School for eighty years.

Once its origins were brought newly to light in On the Battlefield of Merit, which Coquillette published with co-author Bruce Kimball in 2015, students took up the call for its removal because of its racist associations. The seal—three bushels of wheat on a shield with the word “Veritas”—is expected to be replaced in time for the law school’s bicentennial in 2017.

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