State Flags – South Carolina

southcarolina-nylonWhile South Carolina became the 8th state on May 23, 1788, a flag was not chosen until January 28, 1861. The flag is entirely blue with a white palmetto tree in the center while a white crescent is placed to the upper left hand corner. According to the official South Carolina website, the original version of the flag was designed by Colonel William Moultrie which consisted of only a white crescent on a blue field. Moultrie picked blue because it matched the uniforms his troops wore during the Revolutionary War while the crescent which resembled the silver emblem worn on their caps. Once the palmetto tree was added later on, it is explained that the tree represented Colonel Moultrie’s heroic defense of the palmetto log fort on Sullivan’s Island against the attack of the British fleet on June 28, 1776.

This flag also has a state pledge which was adopted by Act Number 910 of 1966 (approved April 22, 1966). Mrs. John Raymond Carson from Chester, SC, wrote the pledge for all South Carolinians: “I salute the flag of South Carolina and pledge to the Palmetto State love, loyalty, and faith.

In South Carolina, tea is the official hospitality beverage of the state. This was designated to the state in 1995 after a bill was passed. South Carolina is the first state in the United States to grow tea. One of the most popular beverageMyrtle_Beach,_SC,_photographed_from_9th_floor_of_hotel_IMG_4501s is the sweet tea, which is made by adding sugar to black tea while it is still hot, and is usually served iced.

How it got its name: South Carolina was named after King Charles I of England, the Latin version of his name being Carolus. He was the one who granted the land to Sir Robert Heath in 1629 in which to start his colony.

Popular places to go: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In the center of the Grand Strand, this coastal city gets over 14 million visitors every year. Beachgoers go swimming, walking on the boardwalk, and attend events.


Flag of South Carolina

The Flag of the State of South Carolina was adopted on September 28, 1861. The flag is rectangular with a blue background. In the center of the flag is a white palm tree. A white crescent appears in the upper left corner.

The Flag of South Carolina was first designed for use in the Revolutionary War. In 1775, Colonel William Moultrie developed the state’s first flag, a blue rectangular banner with a white crescent in the upper left corner, the blue color matching the militia uniforms. The word “liberty” appeared inside the white crescent on the first version of the flag.

The original Revolutionary War flag remained in use until 1861, when the South Carolina General Assembly adopted a flag with a palmetto tree in front of a white oval background. The flag was only in use for two days—it is thus known as the “two-day flag”—and two days later the palmetto tree was modified to a simpler white tree in front of the blue background.

The addition of the palmetto tree on the South Carolina flag recognizes Colonel Moultrie and his troops, who defended Charleston by constructing a fort from palmetto logs.  Because palmetto logs are soft, the British cannons were unable to destroy the fort, allowing the Americans to win the battle at Charleston on June 28, 1776.

Like many other Southern States, South Carolina flew a different flag after it seceded from the Union during the civil war era. South Carolina’s Sovereignty/Secession Flag was actually flown in several parts of the Union during the Civil War to demonstrate support for the South. The Sovereignty/Secession Flag features a red background with a blue cross. Inside the blue cross are white stars. In the left corner of the flag, the crescent and the palm tree are featured next to each other.

The meaning of the crescent is debatable. South Carolina soldiers may have worn a crescent on their caps during the revolution. The crescent is also thought to be symbolic of a “second son,” one who came to the United States in search of a more prosperous life.

Christopher Gadsden – Creator of the Gadsden Flag

Christopher Gadsden lived a long a storied life. He was, among other things, deeply involved in the American Revolution. However, Gadsden may be best known for having designed the Gadsden Flag.

Christopher Gadsden

Gadsden was born in Charleston, South Carolina on February 16, 1724. His father, Thomas Gadsden, sent him to be educated at a school near Bristol, England. Upon returning the States in 1740, Gadsden became an apprentice in a Philadelphia court house, and when his parents died one year later in 1741, he inherited a sizable fortune.

Starting in 1745, Gadsden spent time serving as a purser on a British warship, and by 1747 he had saved enough money to buy back the land that his father, a chronic gambler, had lost more than a decade earlier.

Gadsden soon became a prominent merchant in Charleston, and a wharf that he built there still bears his name to this day. However, despite being busy with his mercantile ventures, Gadsden found time in 1759 to captain a militia company during an expedition against the Cherokees.

In 1757, he was elected to the Common House of Assembly, and in 1765 the Assembly made him one of its delegates to the Stamp Act Congress in New York City. During the Congress, Gadsden’s addresses caught the attention of Samuel Adams and the two began a long friendship; Gadsden eventually came to be known as the “Samuel Adams of the South”.

Upon returning to South Carolina, Gadsden became a member of a secret organization of American patriots known as the Sons of Liberty, and by 1774 he’d been elected as a delegate to the First Continental Congress.

One year later, in 1775, Gadsden was serving as a member of the Second Continental Congress when it created the United States Navy to stop British ships from reaching the Colonies. The Congress also ordered that a group of Marines be got together to accompany the new Navy on its first mission, and the first men enlisted happened to carry yellow drums with the image of a rattlesnake poised to attack and the motto “Don’t Tread on Me” painted upon them.

Gadsden Flag

Whether Gadsden was inspired by the drums or had designed them himself is to this day unclear. However, what is clear is that the commander of the Navy, Esek Hopkins, received a flag from Gadsden bearing the same imagery as the soldiers’ drums before disembarking on the first mission. The South Carolina congressional journals also record that Gadsden presented a copy of the same flag to the state legislature in Charleston.

Later in life, Gadsden held a number of positions in South Carolina’s state government, including Lieutenant Governor, and became a prisoner of war before dying of an accidental fall in 1805. He is buried in St. Phillip’s Churchyard in Charleston, South Carolina.