George Calvert (Lord Baltimore)
Maryland State Seal
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:
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 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:
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".
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.
|Cross Botonee||Flag 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
Maryland State Seal for Kids