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The Arms

The Seal


Armed Forces


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In 1632 the territory between the Potomac and 40° North latitude was granted by King Charles I toGeorge Calvert, LordBaltimore. Earlier George had tried to found a colony in Avalon on New Foundland but that had failed. He was not to experience the succes of the colonization of Maryland, he died in 1632.

The armsof George Calvert, ofwhich we do not know when itwas granted, was paly of six Or and Sable and a bend paly counterdchanged. For crest there are two poles with pennons Or and Sable flying to the sinister on the crown of a count. Two leopards Or are supporting the shield  and below is the motto FATTI  MASCHII  PAROLE  FEMINE (Italian for Deeds are masculine Words are feminine)

On 25 of March 1634 the first colonists arrived in Maryland. The next year report was made to Cecile, the son of George and the new proprietor. On an added map a coat of arms is represented which is probably te same as on the first seal (which has to be dated 1632) of the province. It differs from the Calvert arms by beingh quartered with the arms of Alice Crosland, the mother of George.The arms of Crosland are quarterly of Argent and Gules with a cross bottony quarterly counterchanged. The crest, crown and motto are the same but the leopards are represented as natural leopards (Panthera pardus - Felicidæ), proper.

The frist seal was stolen in 1644. In 1648 Cecile sent a new seal which, according to the description “only differs a little from teh first oen”. It has two sides. On the obverse there isa rider and on the reverse an achievement.The arms are the same as on the map but the decorations differ. On the shield is a modernized English crown of a count consisting of  a diadem with five points crested with pearls and four leaves, lined with a high purple cap with a golden tassel. On the crown is the barred helmet guardant of the Calverts. The lambrequines are replaced by a purple mantle, lined with ermine. Instead of the two leopards there is a farmer with  a spade on the dexter and a fisherman with a fish on the hook on the sinister. They symbolize Maryland and Avalon in New Foundland respectively, the two estates of Lord Baltimore. The motto was not changed but MASGII was spelled MASCHI (as on the map anyhow). The achievement is surrounded by the last verse of Pslam 5 from the from the Latin Vulgate Bible:  SCVTO BONÆ VOLVNTATIS TVÆ CORONASTI NOS (With favor wilt Thou compass us as with a shield.). The legend on the obverse leaves no doubt about who is the boss in Maryland: CECILIVS ABSOLVTVS DOMINVS TERRÆ MARIÆ ET AVALONIÆ BARO DE BALTEMORE (Cecile, absolute ruler of Maryland and Avalon, Lord Baltimore).

In 1652 Cecile was deposed by the parliament of the Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell. The province was governed by governors until the Calverts were restored on 24 March 1658. After the resoration the arms of the province wasalso readopted officially.

In 1675 Cecile was succeeded by Charles and a seal is known of him which is identical to the earlier seals but on which the name of Cecile is replaced by the name of Charles

In 1692 the Calverts were deposed again. In the province the royal arms of the Union of England and Scotland were used since then  and  the legend SIGILLVM PROVINCIÆ DE MARYLAND IN AMERICA  and the name and titles of the ruler on the seal.

The fifth Lord Baltimore, Charles, was given back his heritage in 1715. He died in1751 and he bequested his arms to tyhe province. From this time they are the official arms of the province, later the State of Maryland.

The achievement of the province was still by the life of his son Frederick (1751-’75) identical to it on the seal of Charles with the difference that the mantle was left out. Also the motto was replaced by  CRESCITE ET MVLTIPLICAMINI (Grow and Multiply). It was printed on the frontispiece of  “Bacon’s Laws of  Maryland” of  1765 and also on four dollar bills issued in 1770.

After the revolution on 1776 theachievement more or less became obsolete. Doolittle represents on the frontispiece of his “Display of the United States of America” (ca. 1790) on the shieldfor Maryland prudently the rider from the obverse of the seal of 1648. On the seal of state the arms disappeared until 1854. The seal of 31 March 1777 showed on the obverse a representation of Justice and on the rverse a ship, sheafs of wheat, a barrel of tobacco and a cornucopia. On an other seal adopted 14 March 1817 is the Amerian eagle.

The traditional arms were restored in 1854. In comparison with the achievement of the 17th century the crown and the crest are omitted and replced y the American Eagle.

This new achievement did not satisfy amongst other things because of the new crest and some healdic errors in the design.

On the initiative of the Legislative Assembly of 1874 for that reason was fallen back to the achievement which was supposed to have been on the first seal of Cecile, without it was tried anyhow to copy that seal. On the seal therefore there is an achievemetn of a new graphic design. In the legend the year “1632” was added. Since then the original achievement with mantle, crown and the motto in Italian is teh achievement of State. [1]




Rulers of Maryland


George Calvert, Lord Baltimore



Baltimore Coat of Arms, Ferryland.


This coat of arms belonged to Sir George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, who arrived in 1627 and founded a colony of English Catholics at Ferryland. However this was a short-lived endeavour, as Baltimore quickly abandoned his colony due to the harsh winter climate.

Photo courtesy of John de Visser. Taken from Harold Horwood and John de Visser, Historic Newfoundland (Toronto: Oxford University Press, ©1986).





Achievement of Cecile Calvert.

As on “Noua Terræ-Mariæ tabula.” 1635.

Engraving, 30 Î 39 cm. Newberry Library, Chicago.


Arms: Quarterly: 1 & 4: Paly of six Sable and Or, a bend paly counterchanged. 2 & 3: Quarterly Gules and Arnet a cross bottony counterchanged.

Crest: Two pennons Or and Sable.

Supporters: Two leopards proper.

Motto: FATTI MASCHI : PAROLE FEMINE (Deeds are masculine, words are feminine)


Known as “Lord Baltimore’s Map,” it is the first separate map of Maryland and presents boundary lines of Maryland, between Pennsylvania and Virginia. Also published in A relation of Maryland (London, 1635), by Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, to encourage settlement. Specifically delineatas northern line of Maryland at 40th parallel and shows a dotted line running along the south bank of the Potomac River as southern boundary claimed by the proprietor.


To the Commonwealth







A one-shilling coin, Maryland, 1659,


showing the coat of arms of the Calvert family: Paly of six Sable and Or, a bend counterchanged. Legend: X II X crescite : et : mvltiplicamini • (To Grow and to Multiply).  On the obverse the bust of Cecile Calvert and the legend: X CÆCILVS : DNS : TERRÆ-MARIÆ : &CT  •.


A sixpence, Maryland, 1659. Æ 21 mm 

Obverse and reverse as before.


Both images: www.coinfacts.com/.../lord_baltimore_coins.htm



1675-’89 / 1691-‘92


To the Crown





No impression of the first Queen Anne Seal (1706-1712), or of the second Queen Anne Seal (1712-1715), which was dispatched to Maryland after the unification of England and Scotland, has been found on a Maryland document. A proof impression of the first Queen Anne Seal for Maryland was deposited in the British Royal Mint, however, and wax copies produced from the proof show its form.[2]


Benedict Leonard





Calvert Achievement

Title Page of Maryland Session Laws 1726-1760

Source: Maryland State Archives


This is the achievement of George Calvert





Achievement of Maryland Province

On Bacon’s Laws of Maryland, 1765


Four Dollar Bill, 1770.


Achievement of Frederick with the crowned arms and crest of Calvert, supported by a farmer and a fisherman. Motto: CRESCITE ET MULTIPLICAMINI (Grow and Multiply)


Arms of Maryland as on Amos Doolittle’s

Display of the United States of America


Present Achievement of State since 1874


Arms: Quarterly: 1 & 4: Paly of six Sable and Or, a bend paly counterchanged. 2 & 3: Quarterly Gules and Arnet a cross bottony counterchanged.

Crown: The crown of a count

Crest: On a crowned barred helmet guardant lambrequined of a mantle Gules, fringed Or and lined ermine, two pennons Or and Sable on their poles.

Supporters: Dexter a faremer with a spade and sinister a fisherman with a fish on the hook both proper..

Motto: FATTI MASCHI : PAROLE FEMINE (Deeds are masculine, words are feminine) in golden lettering on a black ribbon.


Æ See illustration from a publication of 1876 in the head of this essay


The Seal


Maryland State Seal - Great Seal of Maryland

The Great Seal of Maryland is used by the Governor and the Secretary of State to authenticate Acts of the General Assembly and for other official purposes. The Secretary of State is the designated custodian of the Great Seal, and provides guidance on its use.

Only the reverse of the Great Seal has ever been cut. In 1959, however, the obverse was described in statute and has been considered part of the Seal (Chapter 396, Acts of 1959). Often, it adorns public buildings.


The first Great Seal was brought over during the early days of the Maryland colony, but was stolen by Richard Ingle during his rebellion of 1645. Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore, sent a similar seal from England in 1648 for the use of the Maryland Chancellor. Except for the period of crown rule (1692-1715), that Great Seal remained in use until the end of the 18th century, the Maryland Council having authorized continued use of the provincial seal on March 31, 1777 (Constitution of 1776, sec. 36)

Obverse and reverse of the Maryland seal of 1648


A new seal with republican imagery was adopted by the Governor and Council on February 5, 1794. Designed by Charles Wilson Peale, the Maryland Seal of 1794 remained in use until 1817. In that year, the General Assembly adopted a single-sided Great Seal bearing an eagle holding a shield. Another seal authorized in 1854 depicted an eagle and a version of the Calvert arms (Chapter 81, Acts of 1854).


[Maryland Seal of 1794, designed by Charles Willson Peale]

Maryland seal of 1794 designed by Charles Willson Peale


The front (obverse) of the Maryland Seal of 1794 is on the left and bears an image of a woman holding the scales of justice. Its back (reverse) is on the right, showing sheaves of wheat, a sailing ship, tobacco leaves atop a hogshead (barrel), and a cornucopia, which represent Maryland agriculture and trade. This seal was intended as a wax pendant seal (not for embossing). From 1794 to 1817, both its sides constituted the "Great Seal" until a new single-sided Great Seal was adopted in 1817.

© Copyright June 17, 2004 Maryland State Archives


The seal of 14th of March 1817 and the seal of 1st of May 1854. (Zieber)




Original drawing of the reverse of the seal of 1874


Maryland readopted the reverse of the original Calvert seal in 1874 (Joint Resolution no. 9, Acts of 1874; Joint Resolution no. 5, Acts of 1876). This new seal corrected the imagery of the Calvert arms in the seal of 1854. It is the seal in use today. In 1959, the General Assembly adopted the seal by statute and codified its description (Chapter 396, Acts of 1959). Later revisions to the law were enacted in 1969 (Chapter 79, Acts of 1969; Code State Government Article, secs. 13-101 to 13-105). [3])


[Obverse of Great Seal of Maryland]

[Reverse of Great Seal of Maryland]

Obverse and reverse of the Maryland seal of 1874, coloured version.


The obverse of the Great Seal of Maryland shows Lord Baltimore as a knight in full armor mounted on a charger. The inscription translated is "Cecilius, Absolute Lord of Maryland and Avalon, Baron of Baltimore" (Chapter 79, Acts of 1969; Code State Government Article, secs. 13-101 through 13-105).


The reverse of the Great Seal of Maryland consists of a shield, bearing the Calvert and Crossland arms quartered. Above is an earl's coronet and a full-faced helmet. The escutcheon is supported on one side by a farmer and on the other by a fisherman. It symbolizes Lord Baltimore's two estates: Maryland, and Avalon in Newfoundland.


State Police



Maryland State Area Command







That for regiments and separate battalions of the Maryland Army National Guard: From a wreath of colors, a cross bottony per cross quarterly Gules and Argent.



The crest and canton are from the arms of Lord Baltimore and appeared on the seal of the Province of Maryland probably as early as 1648.



The crest was approved for color bearing organizations of the State of Maryland on 11 January 1924.

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia





On a black disc 6.99 cm in diameter within a 0.32 cm gold border, the shield of the Great Seal of Maryland Proper (1st and 4th quarters, yellow and black; 2nd and 3rd quarters, white and red).



The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment on 8 March 1949. It was redesignated with description amended for Headquarters, State Area Command, Maryland Army National Guard on 30 December 1983. (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-484)


Distinctive Unit Insignia




A gold color metal and enamel device 2.22 cm in height and 2.54 cm in width overall consisting of the shield, coronet, supporters and motto scroll and motto from the complete heraldic achievement of Lord Baltimore as delineated on the reverse side of the official seal of the State of Maryland and blazoned as follows:



Quarterly I and IV, paly of six pieces Or (gold) and Sable (black) a bend counterchanged; quarterly II and III quarterly Argent (silver) and Gules (red) a cross bottony counterchanged. Above the shield an earl's coronet.


Dexter, a plowman Proper, holding a spade in dexter hand. Sinister, a fisherman Proper, holding a fish in sinister hand.

Motto Scroll

A scroll folded in four undulating sections and inscribed "FATTI MASCHII PAROLE FEMINE" (Deeds are Manly, Words are Womanly) all gold.



The first and fourth (gold and black) quarters of the shield are the arms of the Calvert family and the second and third (silver (white) and red) quarters are those of the Crossland family which Cecil Calvert inherited from his grandmother, Alicia, wife of Leonard Calvert, the father of George, first Lord Baltimore. The earl's coronet above the shield indicates that although Calvert was only a baron in England, he was an earl or count palatine in Maryland.



The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and noncolor bearing units of the Maryland Army National Guard on 9 April 1971. It was amended to correct the spelling of the motto on 8 June 1971. The insignia was redesignated effective 1 October 1982 for Headquarters, State Area Command, Maryland Army National Guard. The distinctive unit insignia was amended to correct the spelling of the motto on 7 December 2001.



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© Hubert de Vries 2015-03-14



[1] Lit.: Burke, B.: The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. London, 1880. Calvert, C.: A Relation of Maryland. London, 1635. Winsor, J.: Narrative and Critical History of America. T.III, 1886. Zieber, Eugene: Heraldry in America. Published by the Department of Heraldry of the Bailey, Banks and Biddle Company. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1895.

[2] Copyright © John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author. Seal courtesy of the Maryland State Archives. Reprinted by Permission.

[3] http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/symbols/seal.html. Also http://www.americanheraldry.org/pages/index.php?n=state.maryland


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