Current State Flag
     

State Flag in Revolutionary War*
       

South Carolina State Flag History

Dating back to 1765, the South Carolina State Flag reminds us of its role in the American Revolution and maintains its place in the annals of the Civil War with a design that was formulated as a national banner when the state seceded from the union on December 20, 1860.

Components of the current state flag were first seen in 1765, on a banner carried by South Carolina protesters of the Stamp Act. The banner that the protesters hoisted displayed three white crescents on a blue background. Ten years later in 1775, Colonel William Moultrie was asked by the South Carolina Revolutionary Council of Safety to design a banner for the use of South Carolina State Troops. Colonel Moultrie chose a simple and direct design that displayed the crescent (new moon) on a blue field. The new flag was the same blue color of the soldier's uniforms and the silver crescent echoed the symbol that the soldiers wore on the front of their caps.

Almost 100 years later, South Carolina seceded from the Union it had fought to create. A new banner was needed to fly above the newly-created nation. Many designs were reviewed but the General Assembly settled on one simple change to Moultrie's Revolutionary War design. A Palmetto tree was added and centered on the blue field. The Palmetto, the South Carolina State Tree, had been attributed as instrumental in Colonel Moultrie's defense of Sullivan's Island against an attack by British warships in June of 1776. Cannonballs fired at the fort from the British ships could not destroy the walls of the fort which were built of Palmetto logs. Instead, the cannonballs simply sank into the soft, tough Palmetto wood.

The flag that flies over the state of South Carolina today is of the same design that flew over the independent South Carolina during the Civil War.


*This flag was carried by Colonel William Moultrie's South Carolina State Troops on Sullivan Island in Charlestown Harbor on June 28, 1776. The British were defeated that day which saved the south from British occupation for another two years. Some versions of this flag have the word "LIBERTY" in the crescent moon.The South Carolina state flag still contains the crescent moon from this Revolution flag.

 


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