Flag of Maryland
|Design||Heraldic banner of George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore. |
The Maryland colony was founded by Cecilius Calvert, second baron and Lord Baltimore (1605–1675), which was granted to him as George's son and heir by King Charles I, hence the use of his family's coat of arms in the flag. At first, only the gold and black Calvert arms were associated with Maryland, being reintroduced in 1854. The red and white colored arms of the Crossland family, which belonged to the family of Calvert's (Lord Baltimore's) paternal grandmother, gained popularity during the American Civil War, during which Maryland remained with the Union despite a large proportion of the citizenry's support for the Confederacy, especially in the central City of Baltimore and the counties of the southern part of the state and the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Those Marylanders who supported the Confederacy, many of whom fought in the Army of Northern Virginia of General Robert E. Lee, adopted the Crossland banner, which was red and white with the bottony (trefoil) cross (seen as "secession colors") and often used a metal bottony cross pinned to their gray uniforms or caps (kepis). The black and gold (yellow) colors with the chevron design of the Calvert family were used in the flags and devices and uniform pins of the Union Army regiments in the northern Army of the Potomac.
After the war, Marylanders who had fought on either side of the conflict returned to their state in need of reconciliation. The present design, which incorporates both of the coats of arms used by George Calvert, began appearing. At first, the Crossland coat of arms was put in the upper-left corner, but this was supposedly swapped with the Union's Calvert arms because of the Union victory.
The flag in its present form was first flown on October 11, 1880, in Baltimore, at a parade marking the 150th anniversary of the founding of Baltimore (1729–1730). It also was flown on October 25, 1888, at the Gettysburg Battlefield during ceremonies dedicating monuments to the Maryland regiments of the Army of the Potomac by reorganized regiments of the former state militia, now the Maryland National Guard. However, it was not officially adopted as the state flag until 1904.
It is one of only four U.S. state flags that does not contain the color blue (the other three being Alabama, California, and New Mexico). It is also the only US state flag to be directly based on English heraldry, although the flag of Washington, D.C. is a modification of the coat of arms of George Washington's family. 
The black and gold design on the flag is the coat of arms from the Calvert line. It was granted to George Calvert as a reward for his storming a fortification during a battle (the vertical bars approximate the bars of the palisade). The red and white design is the coat of arms of the Crossland line, the family of Lord Baltimore's mother, and features a cross bottony with the red and white sides of the cross alternating. Since George Calvert's mother was a heiress, he was entitled to use both coats of arms in his banner.