How does this topic fit within the scope of our blog (which is, self-admittedly, Southern Catholicism)? Well, first of all, Maryland is actually considered a southern state. Secondly, while Catholicism is not to blame for the uniform design that the Terps debuted last night (thank the Lord), we do have a deep connection with Maryland (the state) and with it's odd-looking flag (which was the basis for the uniform).
|George Calvert, Lord Baltimore|
The original settlers of the area now called Maryland arrived on two ships (the Ark and the Dove), landing at what's now called St. Clement's Island on the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25th) in the year 1634. According to tradition, the group planted a cross in the sandy soil of the island and the Jesuit priests led the group in celebrating Mass. This was the first known Catholic Mass to be celebrated in the original 13 English colonies. Interestingly, owing to the reproach they felt from their fellow Englishmen on account of their Catholic faith, the Catholic founders of Maryland created the first government in the New World which recognized freedom of religion. Unlike the other colonies who had officially-recognized churches, Maryland codified religious toleration. An American first.
When the Catholic Church decided to establish an American hierarchy of bishops in 1789, Maryland was, therefore, the natural place to start. The Diocese of Baltimore (located in the capital city of Maryland, named after George Calvert, Lord Baltimore) was established that year with a Jesuit, John Carroll, as its first bishop. Under Bishop Carroll's guidance, construction was begun on the Basilica of the Assumption of Mary - the first Catholic cathedral in the U.S.
It doesn't, however, look so great as a football uniform. What were they thinking? I think even Oregon was laughing.
And I might add, if UnderArmour is keen on making uniforms based on state flags, Ole Miss might want to steer clear of choosing them as a provider. I mean, can you imagine an Ole Miss helmet based on Mississippi's current state flag? And they thought Colonel Reb was a problem...