Maryland's State Flag flier cover

Maryland's State Flag

“The most beautiful flag in the Union is an illustration of the greatest need in the universe.”

A Flag of Family Heritage & Reconciliation

How it came to be Maryland’s official state flag is a fascinating story involving family heritage and “brother fighting brother.”

George Calvert, the First Lord Baltimore

George Calvert (1580-1632) was knighted by King James I of England in 1625. For his family crest, Calvert chose his father’s family colors, black & gold, and the heraldic imagery of a sash crossing palisades to show he had battled faithfully for his king. He also chose the red & white cross bottony of his mother’s Crossland family. The trefoil ‘buttons’ are symbolic of the Trinity, and the four arms of the cross point to the four gospels going to the four corners of the earth. Quartered to show his heritage, Calvert’s crest gives honor to his bravery in battle and his Christian faith. However, his family crest was never a flag until after . . .

The American Civil War

Maryland raised regiments for both sides. Distinguishing colors and flags emerged: Black & gold “Baltimore” colors for the north, and red & white “Secessionist” colors for the south. As a border state, Maryland truly saw brother fighting brother.

Maryland Flag - Calvert and CrosslandPost-War Reconciliation

After the war, the challenge and need for reconciliation was immense. War veterans started using the old Calvert crest as the basis for a new Maryland flag. A flag that illustrates reconciliation with both North and South reunited again. This resonated with the people of Maryland. It was officially adopted by the legislature in 1904.

Black & Gold Illustrates: Death & Heaven

For me, black is the color of power. The greatest earthly power over us is death. “For the wages of sin is death.” 1 Gold reminds me of heaven! “And the streets of the city were pure gold.” 2 Heaven comes after victory over sin and death. But how?!

Red & White: Blood & Forgiveness

Red reminds me of blood. “It is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.” 3 Whose blood? “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 4 “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” 5

What’s the Greatest Need in the Universe?

“God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 6 Have you been reconciled with God, your loving Creator? You can be. Start by telling Him you accept His offer of reconciliation on His terms.

“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for shedding Your blood to pay for my sins. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. As my King, take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.”

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Copyright Bernie Beall, March 25, 2008 — Maryland Day!

  1. Romans 6:23a
  2. Revelation 21:21b
  3. Leviticus 17:11
  4. Romans 6:23b
  5. Isaiah 1:18
  6. II Corinthians 5:19

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