The black and gold design on the flag is the coat of arms from the Calvert line. It was granted to George Calvert as a reward for his storming a fortification during a battle (the vertical bars approximate the bars of the palisade).The red and white design is the coat of arms of the Crossland line, the family of Lord Baltimore's mother, and features a cross bottony with the red and white sides of the cross alternating. Since George Calvert's mother was a heiress, he was entitled to use both coats of arms in his banner.....It is also the only US state flag to be directly based on English heraldry, although the flag of Washington, D.C. is a modification of the coat of arms of George Washington's family.
During the Civil War, troops from Maryland flew both coats of arms; those supporting the Union flew the Calvert arms, while those supporting the Confederacy flew the Crossland arms. Our current flag was first flown in 1880 as a symbol of unity and reconciliation between the two factions.
We, the undersigned, urge our leaders to reject radicals who want to force us to change our state flag, and we urge our leaders to stand up for a flag that unites all Marylanders under a common banner.