Maryland Symbols: History And Symbolism
The state of Maryland is known for its diverse range of symbols that reflect the state’s history and culture. These symbols hold a significant meaning for the people of Maryland and are an integral part of their identity. From the stunning state flag to the regal state bird, Maryland symbols are steeped in history and symbolism. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into Maryland’s symbols, exploring their meanings and significance, and gain a greater understanding of the state’s unique heritage.
History of Maryland State Flag
The Maryland State Flag has a long and interesting history that dates back to the early days of the state. In 1692, the General Assembly of Maryland adopted a flag that featured the coat of arms of the Calvert and Crossland families. This flag would become the official flag of the state until 1904 when it was replaced with a new design.
The new Maryland State Flag was designed by a group of women from Baltimore who were members of the Daughters of the American Revolution. They wanted to create a flag that would be unique to Maryland and would represent the state’s history and values. The flag was officially adopted on March 9, 1904, and has remained the official flag of Maryland ever since.
Symbolism of Maryland State Flag
The Maryland State Flag is a striking combination of colors and symbols that represent the state’s rich history and culture. The flag features four main elements: the cross bottony, the black and gold checkered pattern, the arms of the Calvert family, and the arms of the Crossland family.
The cross bottony is a stylized form of the cross that was used by the Knights Templar during the Middle Ages. It represents the influence of Christianity in Maryland’s history. The black and gold checkered pattern represents the colors of the Calvert family, who were the founding family of Maryland. The arms of the Calvert family feature a shield with a gold and black design, topped with a crown. The arms of the Crossland family feature a red and white design, which is also represented in the flag.
Interesting facts about Maryland State Flag
Curious to learn a bit more about Maryland state’s flag? Here are some fun facts:
- The Maryland State Flag is the only state flag in the United States to be based on British heraldry.
- The flag’s design was inspired by the coat of arms of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, who founded Maryland in 1634.
- There are several theories about the origin of the black and gold checkered pattern, but the most widely accepted theory is that it represents the colors of the Calvert family’s coat of arms.
- The Maryland State Flag is often called the “Heraldic Banner of Maryland” because it is based on the principles of heraldry.
- The Maryland State Flag is one of the most recognizable state flags in the United States, and it is often used as a symbol of the state’s pride and identity.
Meet the Maryland State Bird: The Baltimore Oriole
In 1947, the Baltimore Oriole was officially declared as the state bird of Maryland. The bird was chosen because of its bright orange and black colors, which happen to match the colors of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore. Calvert was responsible for founding Maryland, which is how the bird got its name.
Symbolism of Maryland State Bird
The Baltimore Oriole represents the beauty and grace of the state of Maryland. The bright orange plumage of the male oriole symbolizes the warmth and brilliance of the sun, which is fitting for the state that is known as the “Old Line State.” Orioles are also known for their sweet song, which is a reminder of the beauty of nature and the importance of preserving it.
Interesting Facts about Maryland State Bird
- Nesting Habits: Baltimore Orioles are known for their unique hanging nests which they build from plant fibers, grasses, and hair.
- Migration: Baltimore Orioles are migratory birds that spend their winters in Central and South America before returning to Maryland in the spring.
- Famous Fans: The Baltimore Orioles baseball team was named after the state bird and even has the bird as its official logo.
- State Insect: Maryland also has a state insect, the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly, which also features the colors of black and orange.
In conclusion, the Baltimore Oriole is a symbol of pride for the state of Maryland. Its bright colors and sweet song serve as a reminder of the beauty of nature and the importance of preserving it. So, the next time you see an oriole, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and the significance it holds for the state of Maryland.
History of Maryland State Flower
The Maryland State Flower is the Black-eyed Susan, which was adopted as the official state flower in 1918. The flower is native to the Eastern United States and can be found growing in fields and along roadsides throughout Maryland. The Black-eyed Susan was chosen as the state flower in part because of its vibrant color and its ability to thrive in a wide range of soil types and weather conditions.
Symbolism of Maryland State Flower
The Black-eyed Susan is a symbol of resilience, endurance, and independence. The flower’s bright petals and dark center symbolize the eye of the sun, which is said to represent the state’s motto, “Fatti maschii, parole femine,” or “Manly deeds, womanly words.” This motto reflects the state’s history of producing strong and resilient leaders who are committed to justice, equality, and freedom.
Interesting facts about Maryland State Flower
Here are some quick facts about the Maryland state flower, the Black-eyed Susan.
- The Black-eyed Susan is not actually a true lily, but rather a member of the sunflower family.
- The flower gets its name from the dark center, which looks like a black eye.
- The Black-eyed Susan is the official flower of both Maryland and the Preakness Stakes, a famous horse race that takes place in Baltimore each year.
- In addition to being the state flower, the Black-eyed Susan is also the state wildflower of Maryland.
- The Black-eyed Susan is a popular choice for gardens and landscaping because it is easy to grow and requires little maintenance.
Maryland State Tree: White Oak
The White Oak (Quercus alba) was designated as the official state tree of Maryland in 1941. This majestic tree has a long history in the state and is highly valued for its symbolism, beauty, and practical uses.
History of Maryland State Tree
The White Oak has been an important tree in Maryland since colonial times. The first settlers used the trees to build homes, barns, and ships. The famous “The Wye Oak,” which was the largest White Oak tree in the United States, grew in Maryland until it fell during a storm in 2002. The tree was estimated to be over 460 years old.
Symbolism of Maryland State Tree
The White Oak is a symbol of strength, endurance, and resilience. It represents the state’s commitment to preserving its natural resources and protecting its environment. The tree is also a symbol of the state’s rich history and the role it played in shaping the nation.
Interesting facts about Maryland State Tree
- The White Oak is the official tree of several other states, including Connecticut, Illinois, and Iowa.
- The acorns of the White Oak are an important food source for many animals, including squirrels, deer, and birds.
- White Oak wood is highly valued for its strength, durability, and resistance to decay. It is used to make furniture, flooring, barrels, and even ships.
- The White Oak is a slow-growing tree and can live up to 400 years or more.
- White Oak leaves turn a beautiful reddish-brown color in the fall, making it a popular choice for landscaping and gardening.
In conclusion, the White Oak is an iconic and beloved tree in Maryland, and it holds a special place in the state’s history and culture. Its strength, beauty, and practical uses make it a fitting choice for the state tree. So, the next time you see a White Oak tree, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and significance.
History and Symbolism of the Maryland State Song
The Maryland State Song, titled “Maryland, My Maryland,” has a rich history that dates back to the Civil War era. The song was written by James Ryder Randall in 1861, after he learned that his close friend had been killed while protesting the Union troops in Baltimore. The tune was set to the traditional folk song “O Tannenbaum” and quickly became popular among Confederate soldiers.
In 1939, the Maryland General Assembly officially adopted “Maryland, My Maryland” as the state song, making it one of the oldest state songs in the United States. The song’s lyrics are filled with references to Maryland’s role in the Civil War and the state’s allegiances during that time.
The symbolism of the Maryland State Song is rooted in the state’s history and culture. The song’s lyrics celebrate Maryland’s natural beauty, as well as its bravery and resilience in the face of adversity. The lyrics also reference the state’s flag, which prominently features the heraldic banner of Lord Baltimore.
Interesting Facts about the Maryland State Song
Want to learn some interesting facts about the Maryland state stong? I’ve got you covered:
- “Maryland, My Maryland” was originally written as a poem and published in a Confederate newspaper before it was set to music.
- Despite its popularity, the song has been controversial in recent years due to its references to the Confederacy and its association with the state’s troubled racial history.
- In 2018, the Maryland General Assembly voted to change the state song to a new composition that reflects the state’s values and diversity. The search for a new state song is currently underway.
- The melody of “Maryland, My Maryland” is also used as the tune for several other state songs, including those of Iowa and Nebraska.
- The song has been referenced in popular culture, including in the TV show “The Wire” and in the novel “Gone with the Wind.”
History of Maryland State Seal
The Maryland State Seal has a rich history dating back to the colonial period. In 1648, the colony of Maryland adopted a seal called the “Cecil Calvert Seal.” This seal featured the image of Lord Baltimore, who was the founder of Maryland. In 1794, the state legislature passed a resolution to create a new state seal. The design of the seal was inspired by the 1648 seal, but with a few key differences. The new seal depicted the images of a farmer and a fisherman, which represented the state’s agricultural and maritime industries.
Symbolism of Maryland State Seal
The Maryland State Seal is packed with symbolism. The two men on the seal represent the state’s two major industries at the time of its creation. The farmer symbolizes the state’s agricultural industry, while the fisherman represents the state’s maritime industry. The scroll in the farmer’s hand bears the Latin motto, “Fatti Maschii, Parole Femine,” which means “Manly Deeds, Womanly Words.” This motto encourages people to back up their talk with action.
Interesting facts about Maryland State Seal
Lastly, some quick and fun facts about the state seal of Maryland.
- The Maryland State Seal is one of the oldest state seals still in use today.
- The farmer on the seal is holding a hoe, which is a tool used for tilling soil.
- The fisherman on the seal is holding a net, which is a tool used for catching fish.
- The Maryland State Seal has undergone several revisions over the years, but the basic design has remained the same.
- The Maryland State Seal is featured on the state flag, but in a simplified form.
Maryland is a state with a rich history and culture, and its symbols play an important role in representing that heritage. From the Maryland State flag with its distinct colors and designs to the Chesapeake Bay retriever, these symbols are a source of pride for Marylanders. They are not only a representation of the state’s past but also a steadfast reminder of the state’s present and future. By embracing these symbols, Marylanders can continue to celebrate their unique cultural traditions and pass them down to future generations.