Our State Flag Is On Everything, But What's On Our State Flag?
The SC State Flag has a long and storied history. In fact, the iconic blue-and-white design, featuring a palmetto tree and a crescent, pre-dates the United States.
As you might imagine, the SC flag design has ended up nearly anywhere you can think of in the last 250 years. You see these SC state flag symbols on everything from t-shirts to billboards.
That's part of the confusion, though. There's been no standard SC flag design since 1940. This has been the source of recent controversy, following a recent motion to adopt an official SC state flag.
So what do all those symbols of SC state flag even mean, anyway? Let's delve into the mystery so you'll know what's on the SC state flag for yourself.
1. Palmetto Tree
The SC state flag is actually inspired by a historical relic. It's based off of the design of the flag at Fort Moultrie on Charleston Island, a military fortress during the Revolutionary War.
Colonel William Moultrie successfully repelled a British invasion despite overwhelming odds. This is largely thanks to the palmetto trees native to the area, which were used to build the walls surrounding the fort.
On June 28, 1776, Fort Moultrie underwent nine hours of brutal shelling from the British. The walls surrounding Fort Moultrie were able to survive this savage onslaught thanks to the palmetto trees, which were able to absorb that impact.
To commemorate the victory, the flag Col. Moultrie designed was incorporated into the official SC state flag. This is the origin of some of the state flag's arcane symbology.
2. It's Only a Crescent Moon
Except it's not. Col. Moultrie designed the Fort Moultrie flag in response to his very specific circumstances. The SC state flag has an iconic crescent symbol, usually in its top-left corner. This leads many to believe it's actually a crescent moon.
The crescent shape is actually in reference to an insignia worn on the caps of the soldiers of Fort Moultrie. This crescent insignia bore the inscription "Liberty or Death." It's often speculated that this is what the crescent shape is in reference to.
3. Or Is a Gorget?
"What's a gorget?" you might be asking. A gorget is an ancient piece of armor. It's shaped like a crescent and worn around the neck.
Some think the SC state flag crescent is in reference to this, as a way of honoring ancient warriors.
As you can see, the SC state flag has some of the richest and most interesting history of any state in the Union. It'll still be as vibrant and interesting, even once an official design is voted on and solidified.
Even as revisions are being suggested, it seems likely the iconic SC state flag symbols will still remain. The new design will likely still feature the palmetto tree and crescent - whatever it represents.
The palmetto and crescent on custom SC branding will still instantly evoke the rich history and sense of community that makes Charleston and the surrounding area such a one-of-a-kind place.
Looking For SC State Flag Memorabilia?
Nothing screams South Carolina quite like the palmetto tree and crescent, usually in white against a grey-blue background. The SC state flag instantly transmits a local identity, encapsulating everything that's so inspiring about the state.
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