[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Commissioners of Caroline County 1-21-1986 as Bill No. 85-5. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The original Caroline County seal, discovered in the State Archives in Annapolis, was not strictly a coat of arms but a seal used on county legal documents by the Clerk of the Court in Denton from at least 1814 to 1856.
The seal is oval in shape and features parts of the Calvert coat of arms assigned to George Calvert of Yorkshire, England, on November 30, 1622. George's son, Cecil, was granted the Charter to Maryland in June 1632, and the family coat of arms thus became closely associated with the Province of Maryland.
The belt around the Caroline County seal is a recent addition indicating the belt was an adornment added by the Annapolis geneaologist and heraldic researcher, who, in 1953 at the suggestion of Anne Arundel County State Senator Louis N. Phipps, gave the Caroline Historical Society the present oval seal with an explanation of the meaning of its several parts.
The scroll and motto in Latin means "Land of Pleasant Living," indicative of Caroline County's welcome to all as established in planters' homes and manor houses.
The "Land of Pleasant Living" was developed by the late Arthur Deute, who adopted Baltimore City in 1935 when he bought the National Brewing Company. Mr. Deute found Captain John Smith's description of his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay in 1608 most attractive. Some historians have indicated that Captain John Smith sailed up the great Choptank River as far as Choptank Towne, the southernmost point in Caroline County, in 1608.
The meaning of the bars in the shield is quoted from Hall: "The six vertical pieces or pales into which the Calvert shield is divided would represent palings or palisades and constitute the heraldic symbol of a stockade or fortification, which would be appropriate to one who had fortified a town or successfully stormed a hostile fort. The diagonal band or bend was held to represent either a sword-belt or a scaling-ladder."
The crown immediately above the shield is an earl's coronet. The Lords Baltimore, who, according to the Charter, had the rank of a county palatine, could use the earl's coronet only in relation to their American colony. The rank of county palatine is equivalent to that of an earl. The full-face position of the helmet above the earl's coronet indicates the exercise of government by an absolute ruler over a free state or country. Above the helmet is a ducal coronet from which rise two spears or lances with pennons attached. The pennons display the Calvert colors, gold and black.
The official flag of Caroline County has a green background or field, with the color green representing the county's agricultural heritage. The official seal of Caroline County described in § 30-1 of this chapter is centered on the field.
The official bird of Caroline County, Maryland, is the eastern bluebird, Sialia sialis, as more fully described as follows: The eastern bluebird has chestnut-colored throat, breast, sides of neck, sides and flanks, with a contrasting white belly and white undertail coverts. The male in uniformly deep blue above, and the female duller. The bird nests in holes in trees and posts and in nest boxes and is found in open woodland, farmlands and orchards. The eastern bluebird is making a strong comeback as a result of specially designed boxes by concerned bird watchers.
The official tree of Caroline County, Maryland, is the sweet gum, Liquidambar styraciflua. It usually grows tall and straight throughout Caroline County. It likes old fields and wet areas. Its leaf resembles a five-pointed star, is brilliant green in summer and changes to crimson, orange and yellow in autumn, making a blaze of glory. The sap is resinous and fragrant.
The official Caroline County flower is the field daisy, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum. It grows in Caroline County and is distributed throughout the United States, but less common in the South and West. It flowers from May to November, preferring meadows, pastures and roadsides, often making a blizzard of white color.
The Caroline County seal and flag or any part thereof shall only be reproduced by the County Commissioners of Caroline County, Maryland, or at their express written consent and direction.