Every so often, purveyors of fashion anoint an “it” color that for the next few months anyone with an eye for style wouldn’t be caught dead without. The christened color is colloquially referred to as “the new black.” And though typically a singular accolade in Maryland, the colors of the state flag (yellow, red, white, and black) share the distinction, as everything under the sun currently seems to be adorned with the Old Line State’s colors.
Maryland’s flag has a legitimate to claim to being the nation’s most unique, and in HOTS’ opinion is the best in all the land. Its colors, however, have become ubiquitous off the flagpole, from Deep Creek Lake’s Honi-Honi Bar to Thrashers on the Ocean City Boardwalk.
One can barely drive a mile without seeing a state-flag colored blue crab, thoroughbred, or rockfish bumper sticker adorned to a passing vehicle while every conceivable piece of clothing can be yours in yellow, red, white, and black. HOTS recently enjoyed a fine Maryland red in a wine glass featuring the colors.
Random Google searches for Maryland flag items turned up everything from skateboards to Jeep Wrangler grills to dog leashes to lacrosse sticks to playing cards to Christmas ornaments to headphones to beach umbrellas.
Point is: the Maryland Flag cannot be ignored.
How has such a distinctive, old fashioned, and borderline obnoxious symbol (though not as ridiculous as Ohio’s pennant) taken such a hold, and why are citizens so keen on displaying it on their cars, homes, or selves?
HOTS has some ideas. The flag pops! It’s a fashion statement. HOTS would never suggest using it any piece of clothing featuring it as camouflage, unless you wish to blend into the student section at a University of Maryland basketball game.
Maryland’s flag is also instantly recognizable—unlike unimaginative neighbors who lazily opted for the state seal against a solid background. You know it when you see and recognize where the person, or vehicle, sporting it hails from.
Finally, the flag is a source of pride for a proud, little state too often relegated to a neighbor of D.C. despite being the richest in the nation and home of the Star Spangled Banner, Harriet Tubman, Babe Ruth, and Old Bay.
The success of Maryland’s flag as a fashion statement and marketing tool is something of which members of the hospitality industry should take note. Uniqueness and pride are always in demand and organizations shouldn’t be shy about marketing what sets them apart. Don’t be conservative in designing logos and other promotional materials. Let your flag fly.
In Maryland yellow, red, white, and black are the new black. And while the so-called “new blacks” don’t retain their appeal for long with fashionistas, HOTS knows Maryland’s flag will never go out of style.