WASHINGTON, D.C. — I was surprised to see the Maryland flag on Washington Nationals merchandise in the team store. After all, the team is located in the District of Columbia and not Maryland.
The only other DC flag merchandise I saw was some caps, though the Nats include a version on the City Connect uniforms. The Capitals, Commanders and DC United also include District flag references in their branding.
The popularity of the Maryland state flag is well-documented and frequently seen. In professional sports, it’s been a part of the Baltimore Ravens identity since their inception. The Orioles, also incorporated it when they decided to actually admit they were from Baltimore1 about 15 years ago. That makes it all the weird to see on a DC team’s merchandise. Then again, the Nats may become Maryland’s de facto baseball team if the Orioles move to Tennessee.2
What about Virginia-based fans?
- The Orioles pretended to be a “regional” franchise for over 30 years so they could “claim” Washington as their market. I suppose it paid off for them in winning their “corrupt bargain” to control a super-majority of Nationals broadcast rights. More coverage. ↩︎
- John Angelos denied it, but given his hardball with Maryland over a new lease, it’s not far-fetched. ↩︎