The design of the flag comes from the shield in the coat of arms of the Calvert family, the colonial proprietors of Maryland.
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.
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.
For printers: The red and yellow colors in the Maryland flag should conform to the following Pantone Marking System colors:
- red on coated stock-PMS 201
- red on uncoated stock-PMS 193
- yellow on coated stock-PMS 124
- yellow on uncoated stock-PMS 124