|Current South Carolina State Flag.|
In 1775, Colonel William Moultrie was asked to design a flag for the South Carolina troops to use during the American Revolutionary War. His design had the blue of the militia's uniforms and the crescent.
From Colonel William Moultrie's memoirs
“A little time after we were in possession of Fort Johnson, it was thought necessary to have a flag for the purpose of signals: (as there was no national or state flag at that time) I was desired by the council of safety to have one made, upon which, as the state troops were clothed in blue, and the fort was garrisoned by the first and second regiments, who wore a silver crescent on the front of their caps; I had a large blue flag made with a crescent in the dexter corner, to be in uniform with the troops...."
This flag was flown at the fortress on Sullivan's Island, where Moultrie faced off against a British fleet off the Carolina coast.
During the 16 hour battle on June 28, 1776, the flag was shot down, but Sergeant William Jasper ran out into the open, raising it and rallying the troops until it could be mounted again. This gesture was so heroic, that the flag came to be the symbol of the Revolution. Because of the defense of the fort, Charleston was saved from occupation for four years.
Soon the flag would be popularly known as either the Moultrie Flag or Liberty Flag, it became the standard of the South Carolina militia. At the end of the war Major General Nathaniel Greene presented the flag to the city when it was liberated. Greene described it as having been the first American flag to fly over the South.
Civil WarSouth Carolina considered many designs for the Republic flag, it was decided that the existing state flag with an upward facing gorget and blue background could be modified for a national flag. On January 26, 1861, the South Carolina General Assembly adopted a new flag by adding a golden palmetto tree encircled with a white background. However, this flag has become known as the "2-day flag" because the golden palmetto tree was changed on January 28 to a simple white palmetto tree on the blue background.
The palmetto tree was added as a reference to Moultrie's defense of Sullivan Island; the fortress he'd constructed had survived largely because the palmetto trees, laid over sand walls, were able to withstand British cannons.
|Palmetto Guard Flag|
On April 14, 1861, Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor surrendered to Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard. A slight variation of the flag was flown at the fort. The flag consisted of a palmetto tree on an entirely white background with a red star in the upper left quadrant, and is commonly known as "The Palmetto Guard Flag." In all likely this variation is the first Confederate flag flown over captured United States' territory.
|The Sovereignty Flag|
The Sovereignty flag was never recognized as an official flag in South Carolina. But there are also claims that it was flown for a short period of time in South Carolina after its secession on December 20, 1860. Another significant flag, not pictured here is the "South Carolina Seccession Flag", the day after South Carolina seceded a red flag, with two tails, a large white star and an upside down crescent moon at the top by the flag staff was raised over the Charleston Custom House. It then spread to other cities as a symbol of secession.
Here are some flags carried into war by South Carolina troops.
|1st SC Volunteers|
|1st South Carolina|
Infantry Variant (State Flag)
Army of Northern Virginia
|7th South Carolina Infantry Battalion|