Distinctive Unit Insignia
Description: A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 5/16 inches (3.33 cm) in height consisting of a cross bottony quarterly Gules and Argent surmounted by a Gray roundel bearing the number "5" in Gold within a Red belt garnished Gold with the inscription "DECUS ET PRAESIDIUM" in Gold letters.
Symbolism: The red color of the annulet is symbolic of the red uniforms of the Baltimore Independent Cadets, the military forebears of the Regiment, which during the War of the Revolution were incorporated in Smallwood's Regiment of the Maryland Line. Superimposed on the annulet is a belt of military design and origin containing the inscription "Decus Et Praesidium," the regimental motto which is translated "An Honour and a Guard." The belt is the heraldic symbol of knighthood and identifies the insignia as being of the military order, while the gray field represents the Confederate Service in the War Between the States. The numeral "5," the historic designation of the regiment, was assigned following the Revolutionary War by act of the General Assembly of Maryland in 1794. The insignia is the design of the Crossland Arms, Alicia Crossland having been the mother of George Calvert, first Baron of Baltimore and planner of the colony of Maryland. The insignia symbolizes the historic record of the regiment from 1774 to 1931. The cross bottony forms the escutcheon, and the annulet represents the five most significant periods in the regiment's history until the time of adoption:
Background: The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 9 July 1958.
Coat of Arms
Shield: Azure, two pallets Argent, a torteau charged with a swan's head erased of the second, on a chief paly of six Or and Sable a bend counterchanged, a bayonet (circa 1776) fesswise Silver.
Crest: That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Maryland Army National Guard: On a wreath of the colors Argent and Azure, a cross bottony per cross quarterly Gules and Argent.
Motto: DECUS ET PRAESIDIUM (An Honour and a Guard).
Shield: The colors blue and white are for Infantry, white the original color of Infantry facings has been superseded by blue; the combination of the old and new colors signifies the regiment has been Infantry since organization. The five stripes have a dual significance. They represent the regiment's participation in five major wars, i.e., The Revolution, War of 1812, War Between the Sates (C.S.A.), World Wars I and II. The Whiskey Rebellion 1794, Harpers Ferry 1859, War with Spain 1898 and The Mexican Border Incident 1916, are not referenced, though Federal Service, since combat was not involved. They also indicate the former regimental designation, 5th Regiment, 1794-1941, and the popular sobriquet, "The Dandy Fifth of Maryland." The torteau alludes to the red of the uniform of the Baltimore Independent Cadets, the initial uniformed militia company of the Colony of Maryland; this uniform was later adopted during the Revolutionary War by Smallwood's Regiment of the Maryland Line. The swan is from the coat of arms of the Gist family and commemorates Mordecai Gist who on 3 December 1774 organized and commanded the Baltimore Independent Cadets, the parent unit of the regiment. The gold and black pattern in chief is from the reverse of the Great Seal of the proprietary Colony of Maryland, the family coat of arms of the Calverts, under whose authority the Mordecai Gist company was organized. The bayonet is representative of its introduction to American arms at the Battle of Long Island 1776, by the Maryland Line and in the use of which it became famed throughout the War. It is also symbolic of the "Maryland 400" which by repeated charges and sustaining heavy losses delayed General Howe's army, which enabled General Washington to successfully withdraw his defeated army across the Hudson River.
Crest: The crest is that of the Maryland Army National Guard.
Background: The coat of arms was approved on 9 July 1958.