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Baltimore County, Maryland (U.S.)

Last modified: 2024-05-12 by rick wyatt
Keywords: baltimore county | maryland | police department |
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[Flag of Baltimore County] image by Rick Wyatt, 3 March 1998

Known Flag - indicates flag is known.
No Known Flag - indicates it is reported that there is no known flag.

Municipal flags in Baltimore County:

See also:

Description of the flag

Baltimore County Flag: Quarterly; 1 and Paly of six, Or and Sable, a bend counterchanged. 2: Argent, a plowshare Gules. 3: Argent, a cog-wheel Gules. 4. Same as first quarter.

The flag was designed by John McLemore, a 12th grade student at Parkville Senior High School, and was selected over 29 other entries in a county-wide contest during March and April 1962. It was adopted by executive Order on 28 August 1962.

The flag was not universally accepted. One county councilman and a number of other people criticized the flag as being too communist looking. The F. M. Stevenson Co. manufactured a hundred of these flags, but as of August 1963, a year after the flag was adopted, very few had been sold (The Baltimore Sun, 9 Aug 1963).
Bob Barnes (reference archivist at Maryland State Archives), 9 January 1998

"Early in 1962, the Catonsville Business Association (today the "Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce") hosted a contest sanctioned by the Baltimore County Executive, Christian H. Kahl, and the County Council. The contest's goal was to solicit designs for the first official Baltimore County flag, because to date the county didn't have one.

The Baltimore County public schools got involved too: "The contest, carried on over the past two months as a voluntary addition to the art curriculum within the school, was limited to tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders." (Jeffersonian, April 27, 1962)"

Ultimately, there were thirty submissions to become the first official Baltimore County flag. They were reviewed and the top three were ranked by the contest's esteemed judges: William E. Prince of the Maryland Institute (today the "Maryland Institute College of Art"; Olives Jabes, supervisor of art, Baltimore County Schools (today the "Baltimore County Public Schools"; Wilbur H. Hunter of the Peale Museum; Dr. J. Fred Andreae of the Catonsville Business Association and Porter Hopkins of the Maryland Historical Society.

The winning design was by a Parkville High School senior named John R. McLemore, who was awarded a $100 U.S. Savings Bond.

Having entirely forgotten about the event, the councilmen "appeared shocked," when the winning flag was unfurled. Apparently, in the midst of their election campaigns, the Executive and Councilmen had both overlooked the on-going contest; "…this project apparently was forgotten. Many of the councilmen also were seeking reelection."
(David L. Maulsby, "County Flag is Unfurled, But It May Never See Pole," The Sun, August 7, 1962.)

The Jeffersonian reported County Executive Kahl's comments:
"I feel the deepest embarrassment for young McLemore for the unfair and unjust criticism and mortification he has been forced to endure and I feel embarrassment also for the council members who sounded off and by so doing publicly exhibited their own blatant disregard for many hours of concentrated effort put forth by so many to bring this important civic protection to fruition. I had originally considered adoption of the flag by the Executive Order I am now exercising under provisions of the County Charter, but thought the legislative arm of government would appreciate and seize upon the opportunity to participate and join with me in hailing the result of such a county-wide effort, one which was initiated by a Catonsville business group and which drew widespread support from students, teachers, parents and individual citizens in virtually every section of the county." ("County To Adopt Flag By Order of Executive: Kahl Hopes Council Will Reverse Stand At Next Session," Jeffersonian, August 24, 1962.)
Esteban Rivera, 23 August 2017

County seal

[seal of Baltimore County, Maryland] image located by Paul Bassinson, 8 July 2018

Image obtained from
Paul Bassinson, 8 July 2018

Police Flag

Baltimore County Police flag image by Randy Young, 21 April 2014

This graphic is based on a photograph of the flag on parade found on a political blog (; the direct link to the photo itself.

The Baltimore County Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency for Baltimore County, Maryland. The BCPD's jurisdiction does not reach into the City of Baltimore, which became an independent city from the county in 1851 and has its own police department. The flag of the BCPD is light blue with the department's badge/patch centered on the field. The badge/patch features the seal of Baltimore County superimposed on a royal blue or navy blue geographic outline of the county, fimbriated gold. The word "POLICE" appears in white letters above the county seal on the blue of the county geographic outline.
Randy Young, 21 April 2014

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