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Maryland Day – Why is Maryland Called the Old Line State?

The Old Line State

Today is March 25, 2020. It is the anniversary of our Statehood. As proud born Marylanders (or transplanted Marylanders) we have for years heard of our state called the old line state. We also hear about the Mason Dixon Line as it relates to the survey of our border with Pennsylvania. Yes, Maryland got cheated, I am over it. But Maryland got its nickname “The Old Line State” in a much more noteworthy way.


The Battle of Brooklyn

The American Revolution was just starting. The new nation was in a vulnerable position. General Washington was facing capture and defeat. The actions of the brave Maryland soldiers holding the line allowed the rest of the Army to escape. This battle occurred after the Signing of the Declaration of Independence. Those soldiers that sacrificed their lives were the first to die in battle as “Americans” rather than British subjects.


Remember the Old Line

General Washington who would later become the first President of the United States fondly referred to his Maryland troops as his “Old Line” and that is the term we remember today. So next time you hear about “The Old Line State” remember this is not referring to a disputed land survey. Our state nickname should be a point of pride.


In Summary

Maryland has been influential to the United States becoming a country with its Old Line troops. We also have Ft. McHenry which held off the Brits in the War of 1812. So, Maryland has been a cornerstone to this country. Next time you are walking around with your MD Flag apparel hold your head a little higher.


If you are interested in more history and sources of information for this short article please visit the links below.

The Day Maryland Saved America

Old Line

Why is MD Called the Old Line State

First Maryland Regiment


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