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Anne Arundel County, Maryland (U.S.)

Last modified: 2002-09-28 by rick wyatt
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[Flag of Anne Arundel County] by Rick Wyatt, 3 March 1998

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Description of the Flag

The Anne Arundel County flag is the Anne Arundel County Seal on a white background.

The basic form of the Anne Arundel County Seal dates back to at least 1762 and possibly can be traced as far back as 1661. The colors of the heraldry are the standard gold and black for the Calvert Arms, red and silver for the Crossland Arms, red for the roses in the brackets beneath the shield and gold for the circlet at the top of the shield and thorns beneath the shield.
Rick Wyatt, 3 March 1998

Heraldic Description

The shield in the quarter of the Anne Arundel County Seal is the quartered Calvert-Crossland Arms. In the Calvert Arms, the six "pales" or perpendicular stripes are alternately gold and black ("or" and "sable"), transversed diagonally, from dexter chief to sinister base, by a bend ("bande"). This bend is counterchanged, where it crosses a gold pale, it is black; where it crosses a black pale, it is gold. The Crossland Arms are "argent" and "gules". Argent, meaning silver, is frequently represented as white, although, strictly speaking, white as a color does not exist in English heraldry. Gules means red. Thus, the Crossland quarters would be red and silver or red and white. The circlet at the top of the Seal might be silver or gold. Since it is much simpler than the crown on the Great Seal of Maryland, the red, indicating plush there, should be eliminated. The two brackets beneath the shield could be silver or gold. The rose contained in each should be red; the thorns, silver or gold.
Rick Wyatt, 3 March 1998

Mystery of the Floretty Crosses

One mystery remains. Why are the crosses floretty instead of botonee, as in the Maryland state flag?

Bob Barnes wrote in the Newsletter of the Maryland State Archives on May 27, 1997:

"... when the seal is currently displayed (1997), an example of heraldic differencing has taken place ... the cross in the Crossland arms has become a cross floretty (its four arms ending in fleurs-de-lis). Just as younger sons sometimes made a slight difference in their paternal arms, so the Anne Arundel County seal depicts a slightly differenced version of the Calvert arms..."
Rick Wyatt, 3 March 1998

Previous Version of the Flag

[Previous Flag of Anne Arundel County] by Rick Wyatt, 11 January 1998
? - 1997 Version

The most notable difference in the previous flag was the omission of wording around the shield. The previously "floating" fifth ball above the crown, sometimes floating - sometimes supported by a spire, was designated to have a wide support. The white in the crossland arms was changed to silver in the new version.
Rick Wyatt, 3 March 1998

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