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South Carolina Secession Flags (U.S.)

Last modified: 2010-09-11 by
Keywords: south carolina | sovereignty | secession |
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The Original Secession Flag

[Flag of South Carolina] image by Mario Fabretto, 24 February 1998

Though the South Carolina state flag harkens back to the crescent worn by her troops in the American Revolution, and the palmetto tree is a reminder of the palmetto logs that stopped British cannon balls in the bombardment of Ft. Moultrie during the same war, it is still very much a Confederate flag for its current incarnation.

While the flag in some variation was adopted under the South Carolina Militia Act of 1838, the flag as shown today was not officially adopted as the state flag until January, 1861. Then it was the flag of the seceded Republic of South Carolina - the first of the states to leave the Union.

As such, it is indeed every bit as much a Confederate flag as any other pattern of Confederate flag (and there were many). In fact, the palmetto flag, as it became called at the time, was far more the symbol of secession for the South than the more famous Bonnie Blue flag - that gets far more publicity than it deserves based on an examination of the newspapers of the time (but it did have the song). I have found FAR more mentions of palmetto flags being hoisted all over the South (as well as out West and in the North) as symbols of secession than the lone star/Bonnie Blue flags.

South Carolina troops also fought under their state flag -the state providing flags to the first ten regiments raised for its defense. Other palmetto flags were issued to local military companies as well which saw early combat use.

The palmetto flag of South Carolina is, therefore, a Confederate battle flag, just like those that were created to be as such during the war by the various CSA commanders.

Greg Biggs, 19 January 2000

S.C. Sovereignty Flag

[Sovereignty Flag of South Carolina] image by Christopher Johnson, 29 April 1999

This is a version of an early flag raised over South Carolina shortly after its secession from the Union in 1860(it was also supposed to have been raised over Yale University by sympathizers). It was called the South Carolina Sovereignty Flag and was supposed to have been an inspiration for the Confederate flag in its later form.
Christopher Johnson, 29 April 1999