The Maryland state flag design 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.
Maryland flags for outdoor use are constructed of a durable nylon fabric especially developed for flag use. Nylon's tight weave provides maximum beauty and flyability as well as brilliant, fast colors. Its weave helps shed pollution, dirt and grime that the looser weave alternatives absorb. Nylon is water repellent and mildew resistant.