Maryland Flag

Picture of Maryland Flag

American Symbols

State Seals


Theodore Roosevelt

George Calvert (Lord Baltimore)

George Calvert (Lord Baltimore)



JFK - John Kennedy


Picture of Maryland Flag








American symbols

Maryland State Seal

Seal and Nickname

The Maryland State Seal
The Great Seal of the State of Maryland serves as a symbol of authenticity which verifies that government documents and papers of state are official and legal in the "Old Line State". The Maryland state seal is also an emblem that is representative of the state's origins, history, character and ideals. The following motto, reflecting the spirit of the state of Maryland, is also incorporated in the Maryland state seal and is expressed in Old Italian as "Fatti maschii, parole femmine" which means:

"Manly deeds,
womanly words"

The Maryland state seal identifies government buildings and officials. It is one of the few seals that are dual sided. Only the reverse of the Great Seal is used officially.

Reverse Side of the Maryland SealReverse Side of the Maryland Seal


Facts on the Maryland State Seal
The men who designed the Great State seals were educated in the classics and were knowledgeable of art history and symbolism of heraldry. Fast, fun facts about the history and design of the Maryland State Seal:

Maryland State Seal Facts
Fact 1: The Maryland state has a dual sided seal - only the reverse of the Great Seal is used officially.
Fact 2: The current model, depicting the Calvert arms, was the reverse side of the original seal
Fact 3: It now shows shows George Calvert (Lord Baltimore) as a knight in full armor
Fact 4: Originally designed by the artist Charles Willson Peale (1741 – 1827)

Obverse (Front Side) of the Maryland Seal


Description, Symbols, Icons and Emblems of the Front of the Maryland State Seal
The symbolism, history and emblems of the seal are described in this article with facts and information. The description and meaning of the symbols, icons and emblems on the obverse (front) side of the Maryland state seal are as follows:

George Calvert, First Baron Baltimore (1579 - 1632) is recognized as the colonizer and founder of Maryland
The inscription on the rim of the Maryland State seal shows the phrase, Cecilius Absolutus Dominus Terrĉ Mariĉ et Avaloniĉ Baro de Baltimore, which translates to "Cecil, Absolute Lord of Maryland Avalon, Baron of Baltimore"
Lord Baltimore is depicted as a knight in full armor mounted on a charger holding a drawn sword
In heraldry a knight on horseback symbolizes a man's journey through life

The Knight (Lord Baltimore) is riding on a caparisoned horse. A caparison is a covering, or cloth, laid over a horse and were part of the horse armor known as barding, which was worn during war or tournaments

The caparisons of the horse on which Lord Baltimore is mounted bear his family coat of arms.

Lord Baltimore, the "Absolute Lord of Maryland" and his Assertion of Grandeur
Before describing the Maryland State seal it should be pointed out that Lord Baltimore took considerable 'liberties' in relation to his insignia, which continues to be displayed on the Seal of Maryland. He blatantly upgraded his heraldic privileges, effectively upgrading his position from Baron to Earl! Perhaps he felt justified in doing this by the provision of his charter which gave him virtual sovereignty over his American lands, he was the "Absolute Lord of Maryland".

His title was Baron Baltimore of Baltimore Manor in County Longford, which was a title in the Peerage of Ireland

The British nobility consists of peers who carry the titles ranking from Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and lastly Baron

He topped his shield with an earl’s coronet instead of the baron’s coronet which he was entitled
Coronet of an earlCoronet of a baron
Coronet of an earlCoronet of a baron
His barred helmet faced front which was the sole prerogative of royalty - he was entitled to display a helmet in profile which signified a peer of the realm.
Helm of a sovereignHelm of a noble
Helm of a sovereignHelm of a noble

He didn't completely flout this convention as the helmet is silver, whereas a royal helmet was always gold

Lord Baltimore placed his coat of arms against an earl's crimson velvet cloak lined with ermine

He replaced the pair of leopards that had previously supported the Calvert arms with a pair of human supporters

Description of the Calvert Coat of Arms - Refer to the Flag of Maryland
The gold and black arms represent the Calvert family. In heraldry this shape is described as a Lozenge, a diamond-shaped figure that is set diagonally. The red and white colors have a Cross Botonée (or bottony) design of his mother's family, the Crosslands.

Picture of Maryland Flag
Cross BotoneeFlag of Maryland

Description and Symbols of the Reverse of the Maryland State Seal
The description and meaning of the symbols, icons and emblems on the reverse of the seal are detailed below.

The Latin words encircling the seal"Scuto bonĉ voluntatis tuĉ coronasti nos" is from verse 12 of Psalm 5 from the Vulgate and translates to "You have crowned us with the shield of your goodwill."
The date of 1632 which was the year that a charter was granted by King Charles I of England the province began as a proprietary colony of Lord Baltimore
All of the images are encompassed in a crimson velvet cloak lined with ermine
A full-faced royal helmet and an earl's coronet sits on top of the central Calvert Coat of Arms
The figures of a farmer or plowman holding a spade and a fisherman support the Calvert Coat of Arms
The farmer and the fisherman symbolize Lord Baltimore's two estates: Maryland Avalon in Newfoundland
The Maryland State seal is kept and used as required by the Constitution and laws of the state.

Inaccuracies in the Updated Maryland State Seal

The picture opposite is an updated U.S. Government rendition of the seal (source: (public domain image on Wikipedia) which has included several changes.

The original colors of the lord's cloak have been changed from red to blue.

The image of the red velvet lining of the crown above the coat of arms has changed color to blue

The visor has disappeared completely and replaced with a green silhouette.

The black (sable) and gold pennants, the colors of the Calvert arms, have been changed to yellow and red Pennants.

The red and white colors should depict a Cross Botonee but this is lost in the depiction of the shield.


Maryland State Seal for Kids

Meaning & recent pictures of the Maryland Great Seal
Maryland State Seal
Find the meaning of the Maryland Great State Seal
State Seal Meaning, History, Symbols for kids
Meaning, symbols, design, description and history
Interesting facts on the Maryland State Seal
Official Nickname "Old Line State"

Meaning of the Maryland State Seal for schools, kids and children

Maryland State Seal for Kids

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