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World Civic Heraldry Guide: coats of arms and flags of cities, regions, states

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Maryland, state seal

Maryland, state seal

The Secretary of State was given an additional responsibility in 1853 when he was made official custodian of the Great Seal of Maryland. Since that year, the Secretary of State has had physical custody of the successive Great Seals, and is responsible for applying the seal to those official documents where required by law or custom. The original die of the Great Seal of 1876 (now damaged) was created in accordance with Joint Resolution No. 5 of the 1876 General Assembly session. The seal was engraved upon brass and executed in Paris in late 1878 or early 1879. This embossing seal, impressed an image of the Great Seal directly into the paper. Today the seal is embossed or printed onto foil disks that are later applied to the document.

The reverse of the Great Seal of Maryland consists of an escutcheon, or 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.

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).


adopted (dd.mm.yyyy): 1853

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