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Friday, February 19, 2010

Raise High the Black and Gold

I've mentioned before that my love of heraldry and vexillology has drawn me to truly appreciate the University of Maryland, College Park's commitment to representing their home state and its flag, from having four official school colors (red, white, black, and gold, the colors of the state flag) to the use of the flag in the end zone. But on one very small detail, they missed the opportunity to capitalize.

You can't see it particularly well on the photo to the right (which, by the way, is courtesy of Replay Photos, from whom I just recently ordered a fine USF print) but along the back collar of the Terps' home alternates, there is a pattern of five alternating color blocks, black-gold-black-gold-black. The same feature, in the same colors, is present on the red road jerseys. This is one block away from some added significance to the uniforms. You see, had they gone with six blocks, this feature could have been a representation of the palisade pattern found on the Calvert portion (the upper left and lower right quadrants) of the Maryland flag.

That said, I really like the feature. I've long said that I'd love to see UMBC incorporate some of the flag into their uniforms, and this would be a great way to do it--it would keep with UMBC's black and gold color scheme, and have added significance in that the Calvert colors are actually from the Baltimore portion of the heraldry, and are replicated in the Baltimore flag. It would be great if UMBC could pick up and capitalize on what big brother just missed.
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