Today I am flying the Flag of the state of Maryland. It is considered in the top 5 best state flags. The first flag of Maryland was similar to many other state flags. It was the state seal on a blue background. Like those other state flags it broke the ‘rule’ of no state seals and little or better, no words. Maryland looked and came up with an original design.
The new flag combines two family crests. Cecil Calvert is considered the ‘founder’ of Maryland. His crest emphasized The gold and black lines. His mother’s family crest contained the red and white modified cross.
This flag has come under criticism in modern times. Because of the physical location of Maryland, during the Civil War there were a considerable number of people who were sympathetic to the South. And, a large number of men joined Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.
The people who were sympathetic to the south ‘borrowed’ the red/white cross as a symbol. They made flags and pins to designate they were part of the Marylanders who supported the south. The red/white cross popped up on uniforms throughout the south.
It is interesting that this is not a unique practice. We have a similar situation today with ultra right wing groups co-opting the historic flag known as the Gadsden flag. You know it as the coiled snake with the words: “Don’t tread on me”. This flag was an important historical flag and it is too bad it has such negative modern ‘vibrations’.
There is debate going on in Maryland about the appropriateness of it’s symbols. I am more of the idea that it does demonstrate an honest evaluation of how we are in life together. We come from different backgrounds and ideas, but in the end, we live together now.
From a Vexillologist standpoint it is one of the best flags in the US. It’s unique design is immediately recognizable It starts great conversations after the person seeing it asks: ‘What the heck is that flag?’
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