In this feature, Preservation Maryland is exploring the unique history of five county flags across the state.
Baltimore County flag’s design came from a county-wide competition to develop a flag that reflected the county’s rich history. Open to county high school students, judges ultimately selected Parkville High School senior John McLemore’s design. The flag features the Calvert colors, the same black and yellow seen in the Maryland State Flag, alongside a plow and wheel cog, representing the county’s rich agricultural and industrial roots. At the time, the design was controversial and was criticized by county councilmembers for looking “too communistic.” Nevertheless, the County Executive Christian H. Khal adopted the flag by executive order in 1962.