South Carolina has an official state flag. Consisting of a white palmetto tree underneath a white crescent-shaped moon, it’s become synonymous with the Southern state. The South Carolina flag, in fact, has been around for over two centuries, making it one of the country’s oldest flags. Even if you live in South Carolina, though, there are probably some things you don’t know about it. Below are five fun facts about the South Carolina flag.
#1) Based on Early Revolutionary War Flags
Historians believe that the South Carolina flag was based on early Revolutionary War flags. In 1775, South Carolina politician and general William Moultrie was asked to design a flag for the state’s troops. Moultrie eventually came up with a design consisting of the same blue color found on the soldiers’ uniforms as well as crescent-shaped moon found on their caps.
#2) Flown During the Battle at Fort Sullivan
The South Carolina flag was famously flown during the Battle of Fort Sullivan. Fort Sullivan was a strategic fort during the American Revolution. In 1776, it can under attack by British forces. According to reports, British ships shot down the flag during a 16-hour siege. Upon noticing the downed flag, Sergeant William Jasper risked his life to raise it back above Fort Sullivan. This heroic action resulted in a newfound appreciation for the South Carolina flag.
#3) The Palmetto Tree Was Added in 1861
When Moultrie designed the first South Carolina flag, he didn’t include a palmetto tree in it. Rather, the palmetto tree was added to the South Carolina flag in 1861. What does this palmetto tree represent exactly? During the Battle of Fort Sullivan, British forces struggled to attack the island base due to the presence of palmetto trees. Fort Sullivan had been designed with a barrier of palmetto trees that shielded it from the British ships’ bombardment.
#4) No Standardized Specifications
While the modern-day South Carolina flag features a uniform design consisting of a white palmetto tree and a crescent-shaped moon against a blue background, there are no standardized specifications for it. In other words, the South Carolina flag can feature different shades of white for the palmetto tree and moon and different shapes of blue for the background. The size of the palmetto tree and moon can also vary.
#5) Different Versions
Over the years, there have been different versions of the South Carolina flag. One of the most famous versions is the Palmetto Guard Flag. Designed in the mid-1800s, it consisted of a single red star against a white background. Other versions of the South Carolina flag include the Sovereignty flag and the South Carolina Secession flag.