The Maryland State Flag

is a powerful graphic image – check it out:

Yowza, huh? Once, when we first moved here, I made a flip remark about it at a dinner party, and it was as if EF Hutton himself was speaking – complete silence. Then everyone got really defensive about it.


Kevin loves it. And after 3 years, it’s growing on me too. You see it everywhere, people fly this flag more than any other state flag that I’ve seen. People – even Johnny Oyster Seed – incorporate it into their business logos:

 Here it is on a county truck:

I’ve lived in four other states, and their flags all had some kind of blue background with a round seal with a bear or something like that in the middle – sort of boring, especially when compared to the Maryland flag – WHAM! It jumps out at you.

So, I keep thinking about it and looked it up on the internet today. And here’s what I learned at

 The Maryland flag contains the family crest of the Calvert and Crossland families. Maryland was founded as an English colony in 1634 by Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. The black and Gold designs belong to the Calvert family. The red and white design belongs to the Crossland family.

Lord Baltimore AGAIN?

Having spent 28 years in the midwest, which is still pretty newly “settled” in comparison to the 1600s (of course the Cahokia tribe lived abundantly for eons out there – a marvelous civilization before we came around), I forget about all this history. And moving here, I was struck by all the “Lord Baltimore, Prince George, Lord Calvert, Queen Anne, Prince Frederick, Princess Anne”, etc., everywhere you look. I was like – “we’re STILL talking about all this?” But – that’s not fair. Maryland place names really are pretty interesting, because they’re a mix of all that leftover British stuff combined with all of the native American names – Wicomico, Chicamicomico, Patuxent, Potomac, Nanticoke, Shawnee, Susquehannock, Accohannock, etc. Melting pot indeed, especially when you consider modern day Baltimore and Washington DC.

Here’s one in the neighborhood that must be loved, because it’s completely tattered and still flying. Marylanders sure do love their flag.

~ by kbosin on July 16, 2011.

3 Responses to “The Maryland State Flag”

  1. To me the flag looks like something a knight would carry into battle. I’m sure it’s easy for children to remember when studying flags of different states, if they do that any more.

  2. who is the cross land family and why are they famous

    • a five second google search gave me this, Bob – Crossland is named after a prominent early Maryland family

      The father of George Calvert, first baronet of Baltimore, was Leonard Calvert, a country gentlemen of Yorkshire. He married Alicia Crossland, daughter and heiress of John Crossland, another Yorkshire gentlemen. Both families were of the class entitled to have arms. The arms of the Lords Calvert and Crossland, quarter the family arms of Calvert with the family arms of Crossland, form the Maryland State Flag.

      The design of the Maryland Flag consists of the arms of the Calvert family quartered with the arms of the Crossland family. The Calvert family was that of the Lords Baltimore, the first Lord, George Calvert, being the founder of the colony of Maryland in 1634. The Crossland family was that of the first Lord’s mother. As she had no brother and so was the heiress of her family estate, she was permitted under heraldic law to quarter her arms with those of her husband. Reading horizontally from the top of the staff, the first and second quarters are the Calvert and Crossland arms, respectively.

      I’m sure you can find more by googling “crossland family MD flag”. Best of luck.

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