WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - This whole story started with a tweet to protest a new HBO show in the works called "Confederate."
A Maryland man named Benjamin Jancewicz stated his state's flag is "half confederate." That message ended up being re-tweeted thousands of times.
It's a fact, Marylanders love their flag. It's on t-shirts. It's tattooed on biceps. It's emblazoned on helmets. And even Jancewicz says he was taken by surprise.
"I didn't even know when I started looking up that the Maryland flag had any confederate ties at all," he said.
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Here's the most basic explanation of what the two sides are that make up the flag: The red and white stands for the Crossland coat of arms. The black and gold stands for the Calverts. Who are they? Basically, the mom and dad of Lord Baltimore who founded Maryland.
Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is also a civil war historian. To Benjamin Jancewicz's research that says confederate sympathizers often wore red and white as a subtle protest, he said to WUSA9's Debra Alfarone, "You're wearing red today, the Maryland Senate's color is red, the University of Maryland's football team is red, white, black and gold. People can take symbolism any way they want, honestly and truly, our Maryland flag has nothing to do with slavery."
"I would say that the entire Maryland flag has a lot to do with slavery," Jancewicz counters. "Calvert himself owned slaves. So both portions of the flag have to do with slavery, but the distinction that I'm making is that the Confederate championed the red and white part of the banner so much that it became illegal in Baltimore to fly that flag or wear those colors."
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