GRASONVILLE — The Maryland flag flying upside down outside a local business was just a simple mistake and not an attempt to make any sort of political statement.

A reader contacted The Bay Times,  a weekly newspaper owned by Chesapeake Publishing, last week asking the paper to investigate. In the letter, the reader said he had seen the flag flying upside down outside Holiday Inn Express in Grasonville on several occasions and had even complained about it to a clerk inside, but it wasn’t fixed.

When contacted, General Manager Jodee Wooster said she was not aware the flag was upside down and she was unaware of any complaints. Once she realized the flag was upside down, Wooster went out, took the flag down, flipped it right side up, and then raised it up again.

Wooster said because the flag, along with the American flag and Holiday Inn flag, are lighted they are not taken down at night.

The Maryland State flag is grouped into four sections called quadrants. When flying from a flag pole, the top quadrant closest to the pole should feature yellow and black stripes with a line that alternates the colors; the lower quadrant closest to the pole should be a red and white cross. The two quadrants on the half farthest away from the pole are a reverse of those close to it.

The yellow and black quadrants come from the coat of arms of the Calvert family. George Calvert, who was the first lord of Baltimore, adopted the coat of arms. In it, a shield with the yellow and black pattern can be found.

Calvert’s maternal family, the Crosslands, are responsible for the red and white crosses on the Maryland State flag. The cross can be found in the Crossland coat of arms.

The design was not always the official Maryland State flag. After the American Revolution, Marylanders stopped using the Calvert colors as a state symbol. There were a number of banners used to represent Maryland. No official state flag was designed until 1904, when the current design was formally adopted.

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