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.

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Comments (131)
  1. As with all progressive themes, erasing history, re-writing history, trying to hide their own deep, deep involvement in slavery and segregation and the laws against gun ownership for non-whites, this is another attempt to tear down anything and everything from the “old order.” Regardless of whether Maryland wanted to secede or not, the flag belongs to Maryland and should not be changed.

    The heck with you progressives. I won’t march into the night towards your Communist Utopia.

  2. Does not matter, Union or Confederate, what should be the focus is Maryland’s history, stop the cleansing of history before we have none left,

  3. Jim O'Neill says:

    Reporting from my safe space bunker: OMG we also need to get rid of all the black eyed susans and those racist rock fish that swim up from the south every year. How dare they! Oh yeah and every thing cotton has got to go, bring back polyester the all-inclusive fabric.

  4. Carter Gwynn says:

    Maryland flag square like Confederate flag. A not so subtle dog whistle to white supremacists.

  5. skep41 says:

    What a hot, steaming pile of Prog horse dookey. This is just the SJWs making up some far-fetched nonusense to force everyone to do what they say. It isn’t the Stars And Bars and it long predates the Civil War. No one has ever looked at the Maryland state flag as the banner of slavery. If Maryland lets itself be bullied into changing its flag, what’s next?

  6. Pat Denoli says:

    If I understand what’s being written, this is a misleading article. It sounds as though portions of the Maryland flag (not even the whole thing) was co-opted by confederate soldiers who added other elements and used it to communicate their origins. The flag itself was never a symbol of the confederacy (as the headline and theme of the article suggests). Some of the confederate soldiers also rode horses, are horses now a symbol of the confederacy and dog-whistle support of slavery? A little sanity would be nice, too bad it won’t be had.

  7. Mike Houck says:

    It’s obvious that the only valid action for an honest person to take is to drag that racist flag through the gutter and then set the bith on fire.
    Extra points if you can steal a flag from a public building or the front porch of a neighbor.

  8. Tom Reiber says:

    Well gee, using these criteria, we need to ban the Calif flag as well, considering it was a State during the Civil war.
    Yeah, I know, ludicrous, but then, so is wanting to remove a symbol of a State and its history.

    You know what we really need to remove?
    These morons that keep trying to erase America’s history, and the fact that even after the North won, it refused to abolish slavery in its own territory.

    No, it was never about slavery.

  9. When are people going to start requesting the name Brown be erased from Rhode Island history because a good portion or their fortune came from the slave trade.

  10. Jeffrey Gee says:

    Idiots, 1st off it isn’t the National Confederate flag, which looks much different than the battle flag AKA Stars and Bars they are trying to correlate it too. The battle flag is actually modeled off of Saint Andrews Cross or the Scottish National Flag.

  11. Joe Johnson says:

    Oh please STFU…..cut it out already…..

  12. People who are systematically going about erasing and hiding history that they don’t agree with are FACISTS hiding behind the banner of ‘equality’. It has to STOP. STOP being brownshirts!

  13. Jack Pod says:

    So who gives a sh** about the State of MD and HBO?

  14. Aaron Smith says:

    Was there a civil war. I heard there may have been but I cannot find any monuments or symbols indicating there was. Was It just made up????

  15. Oh my word. STAAAAHHP. If you have to go into a detailed, convoluted explanation of how it has Confederate “ties”, then chances are NO ONE is aware of it; and thus, NO ONE could possibly be “triggered” by it. Stop. The. Madness.

  16. Another opportunity for American-hating liberals to change our nation’s history. The flag isn’t the problem–it’s the mindset of the ignorant and uneducated. Bet those bedwetting libs in College Park are the first to make a change with the flag.

  17. Mary Mac says:

    For cryin’ out loud…stop, just stop. Let it go…….

  18. Peter York says:

    today’s hysterical know-nothings have NO STANDING to even opine aloud about the history of our country and states.

    why don’t they do the right thing like the students at Rhodes did by dumping sewage on the statue of the man who gave them the university?

  19. Lincoln had to sent troops into Maryland as they were sympathetic to the south and he rightfully feared that the District of Columbia would be surrounded by the enemy.

  20. Meanwhile , out here in the rest of the world………nobody cares….really? slow news day?

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