Happy Birthday, Maryland!

April 28th is the state of Maryland’s birthday.  Maryland was established on April 28th, 1788 and was one of the 13 stars on the first United States flag design.  In honor of Maryland on its birthday, here’s an overview of the flag of Maryland.

The state of Maryland’s flag consists of the heraldic banner of George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, one of Maryland’s founding fathers.  Maryland’s flag is the only state flag that is based on English heraldry. The flag was officially adopted by Maryland in 1904.

The flag’s black and gold design is the Calvert family’s coat of arms. The coat of arms was granted to George Calvert as a reward for his heroic storming of a fortification during battle. The red and white design is the coat of arms of the family of Calvert’s mother, the Crossland family.   The Crossland family coat of arms features a cross bottony.  Due to the fact the George Calvert’s mother was an heiress; he was permitted to use both coats of arms in his banner.  Cecilius Calvert, George Calvert’s son was the founder of the Maryland colony and is the reason for the use of his coat of arms in the flag.

Maryland is the only state that has specific guidelines not only on how to display the flag, but on how the flagpole should be used as well.  A cross bottony is to be displayed at the top of the flag pole used for the Maryland flag.  Sometime during 2007, the Government house in Annapolis stopped displaying the cross bottony flag pole, but the State House and all other government building, including schools, continue to obey this guideline.  However, many businesses and individuals do not.  Whether your flag pole is topped with a cross bottony or not, let your Maryland flag fly… HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARYLAND!


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