The Great Seal of the State of Maryland is the official government emblem of the State of Maryland in the United States. Its official service
is to authenticate acts by the Maryland General Assembly, but it is also used for display purposes at most state buildings. Although the state
seal has been changed in design several times throughout history, the current model represents the reverse side of the original seal.
Maryland has the distinction of being one of the few states in the United States, and in the world, to have a dual-sided Seal.
The obverse side of the state seal, which was described by statute in 1959, shows Lord Baltimore as a knight in
full armor mounted on a charger with a drawn sword in hand. The caparisons of the horse on which Lord Baltimore is mounted bear his family
coat of arms. The inscription on the rim of the seal shows the phrase, Cecilius Absolutus Dominus Terrĉ Mariĉ et Avaloniĉ Baro de Baltimore,
which translates to "Cecil, Absolute Lord of Maryland and Avalon, Baron of Baltimore".
The reverse of the seal shows the Calvert arms, described as follows:
Quarterly first and fourth, a paly of six Or and Sable, a bend counterchanged; quarterly second and third, quarterly Argent and Gules a cross
bottony counterchanged. Above the shield an earl's coronet surmounted by a barred helm affronté Argent.
The supporters are a plowman (dexter) and a fisherman (sinister), the former holding a spade and the latter a fish; the mantling of ermine
(reverse Gules) is entire and surrounds the whole composition. The crest is a crown with two pennants, the dexter Vert and the sinister Or.
The state motto, Fatti maschii, parole femine, translates literally from the Italian as "Manly deeds, womanly words", or more generally,
"Strong deeds, gentle words," which is what the Government of Maryland cites officially. Maryland is the only state with a motto in Italian.
The saying is the motto of the Calvert family (the Barons Baltimore) who first founded the Colony of Maryland. George Calvert, 1st Baron
Baltimore made it his family's motto in 1622 and it appears that the saying was well known in 17th century England.
The Latin text encircling the seal, Scuto bonĉ voluntatis tuĉ coronasti nos, is from verse 12 of Psalm 5 from the Vulgate; it translates to
"You have crowned us with the shield of your goodwill." The founding date of 1632 completes the circle.
Though the reverse side has been the only part of the seal to be cut and is the part of the seal that is primarily used on official government
documents, the obverse side can be found displayed around the state, especially on state government buildings, including the Maryland State House.