Adopted in 1969, the Howard County Flag is a red, white, green and gold design which incorporates part of the flag of the State of Maryland. Added to the basic design, on the first quarterly, a sheaf of wheat in gold. In the fourth quarterly, a green outline of the County is set in a triangle of gold. The remaining quarterlies are red. The Flag is centered with the same red and white cross incorporated in the flag of the State of Maryland. The design is as published in the Central Maryland News of June 6, 1968 (County Code, sec. 22-100).

The Flag may be described as: Quarterly Argent (silver) and Gules (red), a cross bottony counterchanged (alternating colors). In the 1st quarter a wheat sheaf Or (gold), fimbriated or outlined in Sable (black); in the 4th quarter an outline map of the county Vert (green), set within a triangle Or (gold).

In 1968, the County Flag was designed by Mrs. Jean O. Hannon in a countywide contest (League of Women Voters of Howard County, Know Your County, 1971). The wheat sheaf represents agriculture, and the map and triangle represent the County's industrial future. Mr. James E. Nicholson, a Baltimore City flag buff, suggested that any future flags be predominantly orange in color (Baltimore Sun, 20 Sept. 1968).

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