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South Carolina (U.S.)

Last modified: 2003-07-12 by rick wyatt
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[Flag of South Carolina] by Mario Fabretto, 24 February 1998

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One of the original 13 colonies, South Carolina is represented by a star and a stripe on the 13 star U.S. flags.

History of the flag

Asked by the Revolutionary Council of Safety in the fall of 1775 to design a flag for the use of South Carolina troops, Col. William Moultrie chose a blue that matched the color of their uniforms and a crescent that reproduced the silver emblem worn on the front of their caps.

South Carolina needed a national flag after it seceded from the Union on Dec. 20, 1860. The General Assembly considered a wide range of designs, but on Jan. 28, 1861, added the palmetto to Moultrie's original design. The palmetto represented the colonials defense of the palmetto-log fort on Sullivan's Island against the British on June 28, 1776.

A resolution proposing to change the color to "royal purple" as a memorial to Confederate dead was defeated in 1899, leaving the flag's Revolutionary War symbolism complete.
Robert Hainer, 9 April 1998

Actually there were SC flags with Palmetto trees on them prior to the Civil War. The SC Militia Act of 1839 specified flags of that type (sometimes on red fields as opposed to blue) and the Palmetto Regiment of the Mexican War carried flags of this nature in the mid-1840's.

At the beginning of the secession period of 1860-1861 there were indeed a number of designs submitted to the state committee. For a detailed account of these flags please see "A Flag Worthy Of Your State And People" by Wylma Wates. This was published by the SC Dept. of Archives And History.
Greg Biggs, 9 April 1998

Back in 1965, the Flag Bulletin published an article entitled "And the Ensign of South Carolina Shall Be ..." which stated that the legislature adopted a different Palmetto flag the day prior to the adoption of the present flag. It was blue with a crescent in the canton and a white oval in the center bearing a gold palmetto tree.
Dave Martucci, 9 April 1998

[Flag of South Carolina 1861] by Tom Gregg, 14 April 1998

Adopted 26 January 1861 and superseded on 28 January by the present design.
Tom Gregg, 14 April 1998

SC Version of CSA Statement flag

[SC Confederate statement flag] by Rick Wyatt, 21 October 1998

Recently, I was in New Mexico and saw a house flying a flag that was half traditional confederate flag and half crescent moon with the shaded part facing out and what appeared to be a palm tree to the right of the crescent moon. The half with the moon and tree was on the left half, opposing the confederate flag. The colors were, as I recollect, a white background with green filling. I do not know the identity of this flag and am very curious. Any help you can offer me will be appreciated.
Steve Quick, 21 October 1998

This is definitely a cross between the Confederate and South Carolina flag. This is not an official anything. Ever since the movement to remove the confederate flag from the Georgia State flag, various flags have been made. I Ain't Coming Down, Heritage not Hate and "state" confederate flags. We sell the Confed/South Carolina and Confed/North Carolina. I suppose flags are a way of making a statement and some people are doing just that.
Rick Wyatt 21 October 1998

State Military Crest

by Joe McMillan, 21 April 2000

The state military crest, which is the crest used in the coats of arms of units of the National Guard, as granted by the precursor organizations of what is now the Army Institute of Heraldry. The official Institute of Heraldry blazon is "Upon a mount vert a palmetto tree proper charged with a crescent argent."
Joe McMillan, 21 April 2000