The Maryland Flag was voted one of the top 10 flags in all of the United States and Canada by the North American Vexillogical Association in 2001. The flag was originally flown in 1880, however, it was not officially adopted until much later on March 9, 1904. The Maryland Flag is the only flag of any state in the United States of America to be based upon British Heraldry, as it is based upon the banner of George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore.
The Marylang Flag is split up into four quadrants, with two sets of designs. The black and gold design on the flag is based upon the coat of arms of the Calvert family. The banner was originally given to George Calvert in reward for storming a castle in battle. In the black and gold design of the Maryland Flag, a few vertical bars can be noticed – representative of the bars of the palisade from Calvert’s battle.
The red and white design on the Maryland flag is actually another depiction of a coat of arms – it represents the coat of arms of the Crossland family. The Crossland family was the family of George Calvert’s mother, and since his mother was an heiress, Calvert was allowed to use both coats of arms in his banner.
The current flag of Maryland was originally flown on October 11, 1880 at a celebration marking the 150th anniversary of the founding of the city of Baltimore. The Maryland Flag was not however officially adopted as the state’s flag until some 24 years later in 1904. One interesting note about the Maryland Flag is that the state of Maryland is the only flag that has specific guidelines not only about the flag itself, but also guidelines as to how the flagpole should look as well.