The Flag of Maryland


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And Lord Baltimore
I’m in Maryland on the eve of my fourth event in four days here. I love Maryland, and particularly Annapolis.

I must add, though, the one thing that I don’t like about Maryland. And that is the state flag. It is far too busy for me and for that reason, downright ugly,

The flag comes from a 17th Century heraldic banner. The black and gold design on the upper left and lower right quadrants are from the Calvert family coat of arms. The red and white design on the upper right and lower left quadrants are from the Crosslands family. The first Lord Baltimore was George Calvert, whose mother was a Crosslands. The second Lord Baltimore, Cecilius Baltimore, founded the Maryland colony under a charter from English King Charles I.

I get the history, but Americans long ago rejected things like coats of arms, as well as lords and ladies. Despite that, two coats of arms could combine to make a state flag if the combination wasn’t so ugly. There is so much going on with this flag and none of it seems to go together.

I may be in the minority in this opinion. A survey some time ago by the North American Vexillological Association ranked the Maryland flag 4th among the 72 Americans states and territories, and Canadian provinces. I found this survey hard to believe, but what would you expect out of an organization of vexillologists.

As a side note, when the state flag is ugly, this sometimes means that the state university’s football helmets are just as ugly.

Lord Baltimore

While in Annapolis, we saw a man dressed in colonial attire leading a group of school children around town. He was a tour guide leading the kids on a walking tour through historic Annapolis. We later chatted with him, when he was without kids to guide. When he found out that we were in town for some Irish storytelling, he was quick to tell me that Lord Baltimore was Irish.

That would be kind of neat – if only it were true!

The first Lord Baltimore was George Calvert. He was an Englishman. He served in the English Parliament and was in the inner-circle of advisers to King James I and later King Charles I.

Go to The Flag of Ireland page 2

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