The Flag of the State of Maryland consists of the heraldic banner of George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore. It is the only state flag in the
United States to be based on English heraldry.
The black and gold design on the flag is the coat of arms of the Calvert family. 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 family, the family of Calvert's mother, and features a cross bottony. Since George Calvert's mother was an heiress,
he was entitled to use both coats of arms in his banner
The Maryland colony was founded by Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, hence the use of his family's coat of arms in the flag.
At first, only the gold and black Calvert coat of arms was associated with Maryland. The red and white Crossland coat of arms gained
popularity during the Civil War, during which Maryland remained with the Union despite many citizens' support for the Confederacy.
Those Marylanders who supported the Confederacy, many of whom fought in the Army of Northern Virginia, were reluctant to use the banner
that was associated with a state which remained with the Union. They adopted the Crossland banner, which was red and white
(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 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 changed to the Union's Calvert coat because of their victory.
The flag in its present form was first flown on October 11, 1880, in Baltimore, Maryland at a parade marking the 150th anniversary of the
founding of Baltimore. However, it was not officially adopted as the State flag until March 9, 1904.