BALTIMORE (WJZ) — During a social media campaign to derail HBO’s planned modern-day Southern slavery drama, one Twitter user’s posts about the history of the Maryland flag got a lot of attention.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that the Maryland flag is half confederate,” @benjancewicz wrote, using the hashtag #NoConfederate.

And, he’s kind of right.

Yes, even though Maryland was a Union state, the flag — which is featured on the state’s license plate and is a popular adornment for clothing and accessories — does contain some Confederate symbolism.

RELATED: #NoConfederate Campaign Against HBO Modern Slave Drama Takes Off

The flag’s older history is tied to George Calvert, an English politician and colonizer who more or less founded the Maryland colony, although he died just weeks before the charter for the state was approved in 1632. The settlement of the area was left to his firstborn son Cecil and his second son Leonard Calvert was the first colonial governor of the province.

“George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore, adopted a coat of arms that included a shield with alternating quadrants featuring the yellow-and-black colors of his paternal family and the red-and-white colors of his maternal family, the Crosslands,” state archives say.

“When the General Assembly in 1904 adopted a banner of this design as the state flag, a link was forged between modern-day Maryland and the very earliest chapter of the proprietorship of the Calvert family.”

But the red and white part of the flag, known as the Crossland arms, was also the design flown by Marylanders who sympathized with the South in the Civil War, according to state records.

“During the war, Maryland-born Confederate soldiers used both the red-and-white colors and the cross bottony design from the Crossland quadrants of the Calvert coat of arms as a unique way of identifying their place of birth,” the records say. “Pins in the cross bottony shape were worn on uniforms, and the headquarters flag of the Maryland-born Confederate general Bradley T. Johnson was a red cross bottony on a white field.”

During the slow process of reconciliation after the Civil War ended in Union victory in 1865, a “flag incorporating alternating quadrants of the Calvert and Crossland colors began appearing at public events” in the state.

The origins of the flag including both designs is not known, but state records say it was being flown by October 1880.

In 1888, the flag was carried by Maryland National Guard troops escorting Governor Elihu E. Jackson at the dedication ceremonies for the Maryland monument at the Gettysburg Battlefield.

The next year, the Fifth Regiment, Maryland National Guard, adopted the flag as its regimental color, becoming the first organization to adopt it officially.

And, as previously mentioned, it was declared the official state flag by the General Assembly in 1904.

Read more about the history of the state flag HERE, and tell us what you think of it.

Follow @CBSBaltimore on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook

Comments (131)
  1. I am so sick of the libtrards,,,do what the h3ll you want, just keep you progressive a$$ out of my life, keep you welfare state, socialist Obamacare, and your loser illegal dirt bags to yourself.

  2. The Communist Liberal Democrats & Socialist will not rest until they re-write history to their liking. Saddest of all is the truly vile politicians will appease them even though they are a small but vocal group, and will likely knuckle under as always. America was built on recognizing our history and correcting only the mistakes we made as we progressed through time. Those who fought and died their beliefs as did the valiant Confederacy could see the future….any government strong enough to force their will on others (which by the way is prevented, if ignored, by our Constitution and Bill of Rights) is un-Constitutional and should be resisted, to death if necessary. We are there now! But those of us who know and wish history to be remembered as it was, and not as re-written, will and must resist this effort mightily!

  3. Jim ONeill says:

    This won’t stop until we start telling these ignorant, spoiled children to just shut the H up.

  4. I read one time a Confederate ate a sandwich – can we just ban sandwiches now?

  5. Winford Sutt says:

    i think you fear mongers should just let sleeping dogs lie…..you cannot change history by simply rewriting it in history books…. thank god for the internet and freedom of speech and thought

  6. Alan Whitney says:

    So many “Americans” spend their lives looking for something to be angry about. What a bore!

  7. Talk about out of control liberals. The Maryland state flag looks like it belongs in the Vatican.

  8. The Confederate Battle Flag, adopted in 1863, was used by some (not all) Army field units and by the Confederate Navy. It never flew over the seat of the Confederacy. Each Confederate state had its own separate flag that flew over the state capitol, none of which resembled the Confederate Battle Flag, and many units from the various states had their own battle flag. Until May of 1863, the official flag of the Confederacy was the “stars and bars” that is very similar to the U.S. flag (blue banner with white stars arranged in a circle) with red and white horizontal stripes. It was replaced in 1863 by a solid white banner with the battle flag in the upper left corner. In 1865, a red vertical stripe was added to the flag’s right-hand border. The Confederate Battle Flag incorporates St. Andrew’s cross. It is an exact replica of the blue St. Andrew’s cross used on Scotland’s flag and was incorporated into the UK’s Union Jack. Britain’s flag, before Scotland was added, included only a standard Christian cross. Many of the South’s settlers were of Scott and Scott-Irish ancestry, hence the use of St. Andrew’s cross. Alabama and Florida still use the St. Andrew’s cross on their Stae flags. It’s origins go much further back than the Confederacy.

  9. Kyle Lewin says:

    In other news, Confederate soldiers wore gray uniforms, so the color gray should also be outlawed because of this association. They also wore hats, so no more head coverings. Plus, I think a few might have been named Steve, so we should definitely get rid of that name.

  10. who gives a rat’s ass what you liberal idiots think. you cannot change history. learn from it. the south is great whether you like it or not.

  11. “Every year approx. 6000 blacks are murdered. This is greater than white and Hispanic homicide victims combined, even though blacks are only 13% of the national population.
    Blacks are killed at 6x the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. In LA, blacks between the ages of 20-24 die at a rate 20-30x the national mean. Who is killing them? Not the police, and not white civilians, but other blacks.
    Black males between the ages of 14-17 commit homicide at 10x the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined.
    Blacks of all ages commit homicide at 8x the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and 11x the rate of whites alone.
    The police could end all lethal uses of force and it would have at most a trivial effect on the black death-by-homicide rate.
    The nation’s police killed 987 civilians in 2015 according to a database compiled by the Washington Post. Whites were 50% – or 493 – of those victims and blacks were 26% – or 258. Most of these, white and black, were armed or otherwise threatening the officer with potentially lethal force. The black crime rate would actually predict that more than 26% of police victims would be black.
    In America’s 75 largest counties in 2009, blacks constituted 62% of all robbery defendants, 57% of all murder defendants, 45% of all assault defendants – but only 15% of the population.
    40% of all cop killers have been black over the last decade.
    A larger proportion of white and Hispanic homicide deaths are a result of police killings.
    12% of all white and Hispanic homicide victims are killed by police, compared to 4% of all black homicide victims.
    Blacks make up 23% of NYC’s population, but they commit 75% of all shootings, 70% of all robberies, and 66% of all violent crime, according to victims and witnesses. Add Hispanic shootings and you account for 98% of all illegal gunfire in the city. Whites are 33% of the population, but they commit fewer than 2% of all shootings, 4% of all robberies and 5% of all violent crime.
    In Brownsville, Brooklyn, the per capita shooting rate is 81x higher than in nearby Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – the 1st neighborhood predominantly black, the second predominantly white and Asian. As a result, police presence and use of proactive tactics are much higher in Brownsville than in Bay Ridge. Every time there is a shooting, police will flood the area looking to make stops in order to avert a retaliatory shooting. They are in Brownsville not because of racism, but because they want to provide protection to its many law-abiding residents who deserve safety.
    In NYC in 1990, for example, there were 2245 homicides. In 2014 there were 333 – a decrease of 85%. NYC’s drop is the steepest in the nation, but crime has fallen nationwide as well – by about 40% – since the early 1990s. The greatest beneficiaries of this decline have been minorities. Over 10,000 minority males alive today in NYC would be dead if the city’s homicide rate had remained at its early 1990s level.
    In 2016 our country was in the midst of the first sustained violent crime spike in 2 decades. Murders rose nearly 17% in the nation’s 50 largest cities in 2015, and it was in cities with large black populations where the violence increased the most. Baltimore’s per capita homicide rate in 2015 was the highest in history. Milwaukee had its deadliest year in a decade, with a 72% increase in homicides. Homicides in Cleveland increased 90% over the previous year. Murders rose 83% in Nashville, 54% in Washington DC and 61% in Minneapolis. In Chicago, where pedestrian stops are down by 90%, shootings were up 80% through March 2016.
    The number of police officers killed in shootings more than doubled during the first 3 months of 2016. In fact, officers are at much greater risk from blacks than unarmed blacks are from the police. Over the last decade, an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black has been 18.5x higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop.”

    It’s a shame to see “progressives” try to magically wish this away like so many other issues, while wasting everybody’s time revising history and ridding us of all historical symbols of slavery and the Civil War. Maybe instead they should try addressing the root causes of black-on-black crime and poverty. Then again, reason and logic have never, EVER appealed to the Left.

  12. Ray Rooks says:

    This is crazy! When will the lunacy of this anti American view stop? The Maryland State Flag is a reunion flag. The 5th Regiment was a unified command of former soldiers of the North and the South. The flag was adopted by them as a reunion flag that honor soldiers of both side. The citizens of the state loved the flag, removed the 5 and made it our state flag. People today could learn a great deal from those who adopted the flag as a reconciliation of former combatants who were shooting at each other in war. Remember Diversity for all means everybody.

  13. The Washington DC Flag and License Plate are the coat of arms of a slave plantation, but nobody seems to care about that.

  14. Dusty Rhodes says:

    It is impossible to say, do or create anything that is not offensive to someone either now or in the future. I suggest Mr Savage put on his tinfoil hat and move on.

  15. Jerry Rowe says:

    All this history revisionism, trying to erase the past, is VERY dangerous. It is EXACTLY what happened in the book 1984 by George Orwell, where the STATE erased everything they did not like and did not want you to know. That is where we get the terms “Big Brother”, “Ministry of Truth”, and more from. In the book all history was erased that was not in line with the official mantra of the current (maybe tyrannical) government.

    Hiding and redefining history is what governments like “Big Brother” do to make you ignorant. Once they achieve hiding anything (for your own good of course), they can hide anything (for THEIR own good of course).

    Don’t be stupid and fall for this scheme. You will not like the end result.
    Except of course, you will not know what it is and that it is wrong. Big Brother is NEVER wrong.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=1984+george+orwell&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

  16. So what. Only the racists out there care.

  17. Larry Smith says:

    The PC left will never stop whining about anything…they are obsessed with being outraged…just the grievance of the day

  18. Charlie Doe says:

    “And, he’s kind of right.”

    This is reporting? Did this idiot go to “Joe’s School of Journalism and Coffee Haus”??

  19. Charlie Doe says:

    Many people don’t realize that Confederates breathed air…. and people who voted for trump do too. Coincidence???????

  20. What else can we expect from the first generation in history that is turning over a worse country to their kids and grandkids than they inherited from their own parents and grandparents. In fact, post-American liberals are putting America right down the memory hole.

    But they had a grand old time feelin’ groovy. And that’s all that matters. Right, comrades?

Leave a Reply