The Old Line State: This nickname is, according
to some, a reference to the Maryland soldiers who fought courageously
in the Revolutionary War, the Maryland Line. It is said that General
George Washington referred to these soldiers as "The Old Line."
Maryland was the only state that had regular troops "of the line"
and these soldiers were ranked among the finest and best disciplined
in the army.
Another origin is given that goes back further in history.
It is said that Maryland is referred to as "The Old Line State"
because it was the dividing line between the land grants given to William
Penn and Lord Baltimore.
The Free State: This nickname originated in
an article written by Hamilton Owens, the editor or the Baltimore Sun.
In 1923, a Georgia Congressman, William D. Upshaw, attacked Maryland
as a traitor to the union because it never passed a State enforcement
act supporting Prohibition. Hamilton Owens' article, "The Maryland
Free State" was a mocking response to Mr. Upshaw, suggesting that
Maryland should secede from the Union before acting to prohibit the
sale of liquor. This article was never published but Mr. Owens referred
to Maryland as "The Free State" in later editorials.
The Cockade State: This nickname, coined during
the Revolutionary War, again refers to the Maryland soldiers. According
to King's Handbook of the United States, 1891, the Maryland Old Line
was made up of young men who "...wore brilliant cockades".
Cockades are badge-like ornaments usually worn on hats. These decorations
gave birth to Maryland's nickname, "The Cockade State".
The Monumental State: In the early 17th century,
Baltimore was given the nickname of "The Monumental City"
and this nickname was transferred to the state over time.
"The Monumental City" was bestowed
upon Baltimore by President John Quincy Adams, probably in reference
to the monuments he saw on his visit to the city in 1827. The "Battle
Monument" honoring Baltimore's defensive victory in the War of
1812 was standing on the site of the old court house. Construction was
under way on the first major memorial to George Washington. President
Adams was also taken to North Point to view the Aquila Randall Monument
erected to honor a member of the First Mechanical Volunteers of the
Fifth Regiment who was killed on September 12, 1814.
At a dinner engagement, Adams thanked the citizens
of Baltimore for the kind reception he had been given during his visit
and proposed a toast "Baltimore, the Monumental Citymay
the days of her safety be as prosperous and happy as the days of her
danger have been trying and triumphant!"
The Oyster State: This nickname refers to the large oyster
fisheries in the state.
The Queen State: Probably because Maryland was named after
Queen Henrietta Maria, Maryland has been referred to as "The Queen
Fatti Maschii Parole Femine meaning "Strong Deeds, Gentle Words"
The Maryland motto, Fatti Maschii Parole Femine, has not specifically
been adopted as a state motto. Rather, it has been accepted as a state
motto because it was adopted as an element of the Great Seal of
The motto dates back to the Great Seal of the Province of Maryland,
which included the arms of the Lords Baltimore (Calvert family). Fatti
Maschii Parole Femine appeared on this seal.
The translation of the motto has varied over the years. In 1993, State
Archivist, Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse, presented his translation in response
to charges that the motto, as transcribed in law, was discriminatory. For
more information, please