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 Calvert motto on the scroll is "Fatti maschii parole femine," loosely translated "manly deeds, womanly words," but more accurately translated as "strong deeds, gentle words."
The Latin legend on the border is the last verse of Psalm 5 (from the Latin Vulgate Bible). It translates as "with favor wilt thou compass us as with a shield."
The date, 1632, refers to the year Charles I, King of England, granted the Maryland charter to Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore.
Reverse of State Seal, State House entrance door, Annapolis, Maryland, January 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
© Copyright April 21, 2005 Maryland State Archives
Maryland Manual On-Line, 2009
July 1, 2009
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