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Munson pulls state flag bill

January 31, 2000|By LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - History won't be rewritten after all.

Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, has withdrawn legislation intended to correct the description of the Maryland flag.

Munson filed the bill after State Archivist Edward Papenfuse told him that one of the flag's two seals represents the family of Anne Mynne, the wife of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore.

Historians have long said the red and white symbol represented the Crosslands, Calvert's mother's family. The black and yellow symbol belongs to the Calverts.

Papenfuse had championed the Mynne cause, but learned he was wrong after hiring an expert in family coats of arms.

"This is embarrassing for me, but I'm just being honest. I'm having to eat crow," Papenfuse said.

Munson said he was surprised to learn that Papenfuse was incorrect.

"It came like a bolt out of the blue," said Munson, who promptly withdrew the bill.

Munson's staff had come across the discrepancy while updating the information they give out with state flags.

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Papenfuse was so convinced that he was willing to testify to the change before the Maryland General Assembly.

That is, until the heraldry expert convinced him otherwise.

Although the Crossland and Mynne seals are very similar, only the Crossland family was allowed to show its symbol countercharged, in other words with the red in one corner and white in the opposite corner, he said.

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