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Flag of Maryland

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Flag of Maryland. Image provided by Classroom Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)

The flag of the U.S. state of Maryland consists of the heraldic banners of the family of George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore. It is the only state flag in the United States to be based on British heraldry. It was officially adopted by Maryland in 1904.

Contents

Design

The black and gold design is that of the Calvert family. It was given to Calvert as a result of storming a fortification in battle (the vertical bars approximate the bars of the palisade). The red and white design is that of the Crossland family, the family of Calvert's mother, and features a cross bottony. George Calvert adopted a coat of arms that included a shield with alternating quadrants featuring both the colors of his paternal family (in the 1st and 3rd quarters) and of his maternal family (in the 2nd and 4th quarters).

History

Initially, only the gold and black design was associated with Maryland. The red and white Crossland design gained popularity during the American Civil War, in which Maryland remained with the Union despite a lot of popular support for the Confederacy. Those Marylanders who supported secession (many of whom fought in the Army of Northern Virginia) were reluctant to use (and to fight under) the banner which was associated with a state which, grudgingly or not, remained with the Union and so they adopted the Crossland banner, which had the benefit of being red and white (which were seen as "secession colors").

After the war, Marylanders who had fought on both sides of the conflict returned to their state in need of reconciliation. The present design, which incorporated both symbols, began appearing. It was flown October 11, 1880, in Baltimore, Maryland at a parade marking the 150th anniversary of the founding of Baltimore. It also was flown October 25, 1888, at the Gettysburg Battlefield for ceremonies dedicating monuments to Maryland regiments of the Army of the Potomac. Officially, it was adopted as the State flag in 1904 (Chapter 48, Acts of 1904, effective March 9, 1904). In 1945, the legislature made a gold cross bottony the official ornament for a flagstaff carrying the Maryland flag.

Legal Description

Maryland Code, Section 13-202.

  • (a) The State flag is quartered.
  • (b) The 1st and 4th quarters are paly of 6 pieces, or and sable, a bend dexter counterchanged. Thus, the 1st and 4th quarters consist of 6 vertical bars alternately gold and black with a diagonal band on which the colors are reversed.
  • (c) The 2nd and 3rd, quarterly, are argent and gules, a cross bottony countersigned. Thus, the 2nd and 3rd quarters are a quartered field of red and white, charged with a Greek cross, its arms terminating in trefoils, with the coloring transported, red being on the white ground and white on the red, and all being as represented upon the escutcheon of the State seal.

The Maryland Secretary of State publishes a "Protocol for the Maryland State Flag" which, among other things, specifies the colors of the flag:

1.04. The red and yellow colors in the Maryland flag should conform to the following Pantone Marking System colors:

  • red on coated stock-PMS 201
  • red on uncoated stock-PMS 193
  • yellow on coated stock-PMS 124
  • yellow on uncoated stock-PMS 124

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Flags of the U.S. states
Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
Flags of the inhabited insular areas and the Federal district
American Samoa | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands | Washington D.C.
Unofficial flags of the uninhabited insular areas
Johnston Atoll | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Palmyra Atoll | Wake Island
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