Maryland's State Flag

Maryland's flag bears the arms of the Calvert and Crossland families. Calvert was the family name of the Lords Baltimore who founded Maryland. Their colors of gold and black appear in the first and fourth quarters of the flag. Crossland was the family of the mother of George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore. The red and white Crossland colors, with a cross bottony, appear in the second and third quarters. This flag was first flown October 11, 1880, in Baltimore at a parade marking the 150th anniversary of the founding of Baltimore. It also was flown October 25, 1888, at Gettysburg Battlefield for ceremonies dedicating monuments to Maryland regiments of the Army of the Potomac. Officially, it was adopted as the State flag in 1904.

Maryland's flag is sometimes mistakenly flown upside down because it is not obvious which is the top. That is set by law. The quadrant (quarter) of the flag that is to be at the top of the flagpole is black and gold and the black block must be on the top (the block opposite it is gold). If you look at the flag to the left, you will see how it is supposed to look. Take the quiz (the link is at the top of this page) and see if you can recognize those that are flown properly.

Maryland law requires that if any ornament is on the top of a flagstaff carrying the Maryland flag, the ornament must be a gold cross bottony.

© Copyright October 16, 1997, Office of the Secretary of State
Last Modified September 16, 2003.