52 Interesting Facts About Maryland

Last updated on June 30th, 2023

49. The Wye Oak was the largest white oak tree in the United States and the State Tree of Maryland from 1941 until its demise in 2002. At its end, the tree measured 31 feet 8 inches in circumference, was 96 feet tall and had an average crown spread of 119 feet. The main bole of the tree weighed over 61,000 pounds.

50. During its earlier days as a colonial capital city, Annapolis was known as the “Athens of America.” Also, Annapolis is known as the sailing capital of the world.

51. King Williams School opened in 1696 was the first school in the United States.

52. It was in Baltimore in 1774 that the first post office system in the United States was inaugurated by William Goddard. 

About the flag of Maryland

the Flag of Maryland
The flag of Maryland. Image credit – Maryland State Archives

1. Design and Symbolism

The flag of Maryland is a symbol of harmony across the state. It shows that citizens could set aside their differences and move forward as one.

It features elements taken from the heraldic banner of Cecil Calvert, the Second Baron Baltimore, who used it in the 1600s. He founded the Maryland colony after a grant from King Charles I.

The flag has four equal parts. The upper-left and lower-right quarters feature the arms of George Calvert, the First Baron Baltimore. The vertical black and yellow bars became the flag of the pro-Union faction during the US Civil War.

The upper-right and the bottom-left quarters feature the arms of the Crossland family from the mother of the Baron. It has a red and white cross with three knobs at the ends. The pro-Confederate faction used the Crossland banner in the Civil War.

Placing these war banners together in the flag is a powerful statement of reunification.

2. Adoption

The Maryland General Assembly adopted the current flag on March 9, 1904.

3. Technical Details

The flag uses a proportion of 2:3. As for the color scheme, the exact HEX values of the gold, black, white, and red sections are EBAC00, 000000, FFFFFF, and 9E1D32, respectively. If using the Pantone Matching System, red is either PMS201 or 193, and yellow is PMS 124.

4. History

George Calvert, former secretary of state, wanted to form a new colony in America to welcome English Roman Catholics. After his death, King Charles I allowed his son to realize this dream through a charter. The name Maryland honors the queen, Henrietta Maria. The Calvert family banner became the colonial flag.

During the US Civil War, most people in Maryland remained loyal to the Union, but others supported the Confederacy. Each side turned to the colonial flag, isolating elements to serve as their banners. After the war, both sides returned to the state and began reconciliation.

In 1880, the current flag combining the colors from opposing sides first appeared at the 150th Baltimore anniversary parade. Eight years later, it showed up again at a Gettysburg Battlefield ceremony. In 1904, the Maryland General Assembly finally made it the official state flag.

5. Flag Restrictions

Maryland has a strict rule about what flagpole to use. In 1945, the general assembly specified a gold cross ornament for the top of poles carrying the state flag. You can see this at the Governor’s Mansion, state government buildings, and public schools. However, many private individuals deviate from this rule.

6. Other Flags

After the American Revolution, the newly independent Maryland discontinued using the Calvert flag. People used different unofficial banners without colonial links. Many placed the state seal on a blue field.

The Maryland State Colonization Society sought to bring African Americans back to their roots, where they may enjoy greater freedom. In 1834, it founded the Republic of Maryland, which is now part of Liberia. This private colony used the yellow and black colors of the Calvert flag.

Maryland – Quick facts and state symbols

State AbbreviationMD
State CapitalAnnapolis
Largest CityBaltimore
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 12,407 sq miles; Land Only: 9,774 sq miles
(Estimate July 1, 2023 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodApril 28, 1788
State rank by population19th
State rank by date of formation7th
State rank by area42nd
Number of counties24
Bordering StatesDelaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
Official LanguageNone
Highest PointHoye-Crest
3,360 ft (1024 m)
Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean
Sea level
Length 119 miles (192 km)
Width196 miles (315 km)
GovernorWes Moore (D)
Lieutenant GovernorAruna Miller (D)
Electoral Votes10
State MottoFatti maschii, parole femine (Manly deeds, womanly words)
State NicknameFree State; Old Line State
% Water21
Nobel Prize WinnersPeyton Rous (Physiology or Medicine, 1966)
Martin Rodbell (Physiology or Medicine, 1994)
Famous peopleCal Ripken, Jr. (Baseball player)
Julie Bowen (Actress)
Julienne Irwin (Singer)
State GemPatuxent River Stone

State BoatSkipjack
State DogChesapeake Bay retrieve
State BirdBaltimore Oriole
CatCalico cat
CrustaceanBlue crab
State ReptileDiamonback terrapin
State HorseThoroughbred
State DinosaurAstrodon
State FlowerBlack-eyed susan
State Insect
Baltimore checkerspot butterfly
State TreeWhite oak
Longitude75° 03′ W to 79° 29′ W
Latitude37° 53′ N to 39° 43′ N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone,
Area Codes227, 240, 249, 280, 301, 410, 443, 667
Table last updatedDecember 21, 2023