What’s In A Triangle?

What in a triangle? In the case of the right lower panel of the Howard County flag, it’s the shape of the county itself that is in it. But what does the yellow triangle symbolize exactly?

The county webpage about county symbols says that it’s actually a gold color like the wheat at the top left panel. Whether it’s yellow or gold, what does it mean?

This is a follow-up post to the one done last week regarding county council bill 31 that seeks to permanently enshrine the date that the 1968 flag into the county code. That post, for those who haven’t read it, can be read by going here:

A County Flag Was Born, But Who Birthed It?

First, what has been written about what the image is supposed to convey? The county webpage has the following: “.. a green outline of the county is set in a triangle of gold symbolizing the unique position of Howard in the future development of the eastern seaboard.” There’s no notation for who said that or where that information comes from. In the newspaper article announcing the flag given to the commissioners, it was written:

So, “county’s industrial future.” Is the county known today for industrial things? Was that the plan in 1968? Possibly.

On Saturday I went to the state archives in Annapolis to scan through their collection of the Central Maryland News. I found an image and article in a 1964 edition that jumped out at me, and I think the reader will understand why. It was interesting to note that our county government was making deliberate efforts to have the county be in front of the world at the World’s Fair by having a two year exhibit there. “High type industrial development” was the audience being sought, but the county’s strategic location in the “Heart of six city Area” was depicted by the Planning Director via a triangle. Keep in mind, the year is 1964 which is four years prior to the flag contest and winning design and a bit before any shovels substantially broke ground to build Rouse’s Columbia. The Planning Director was noted to have shown that exhibit to the County Commissioners, and weren’t the commissioners also some of the judges for the flag contest?


Is that where Jean Hannon got the idea and inspiration to incorporate a triangle into the flag design? Noted that her triangle is more like a pyramid design and is the opposite orientation of the Planning Director’s, and also noted that the county has been zoomed in on by the Hannon design. I can’t determine the six points in the Planning Director’s image (I’m sure one of them is Philadelphia) but the points were supposed to mean something. What do the points in the Hannon triangle design refer to since it was inverted from his, assuming the corners do point to something?

This was the time in county history in which a Charter commission had released their recommendation that charter government get adopted in the county BUT that it be delayed for several years. That led to citizen activism which led to referendum efforts in order to put a stop to that delay. CB31 mentions the charter, but I wonder how many people know the history of the charter delay and fights that happened to finally get charter government in the county all during desegregation, federal civil rights legislation compelling local action, and county housing activism?

If the current bill passes with the goal of teaching others about this time period in county history, count our nonprofit IN.. though I hold to what I wrote last week that I’m opposed to having things made so that they don’t change.