Ordered to Sullivan’s Island, the Second South Carolina was the principal command in the island’s half-completed palmetto log and sand fort, and the regiment’s colors served as the garrison’s flag.
In January 1776 the South Carolina Council of Safety delivered twenty-three yards of blue cloth to Colonel William Moultrie, commander of the Second South Carolina Regiment. It is not known if this cloth was used to make the unit’s colors, but in the colonel’s memoirs he wrote: “it was thought necessary to have a flag for the purpose of signals: (as there was no national or state flag at the 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 uniform with the troops: This was the first American flag which was displayed in South-Carolina.”
Ordered to Sullivan’s Island, the Second South Carolina was the principal command in the island’s half-completed palmetto log and sand fort, and the regiment’s colors served as the garrison’s flag. During the June 28, 1776, attack by a British fleet, the flagstaff was cut down by artillery. Sergeant William Jasper retrieved the colors, tied them to a staff, and planted them back on the ramparts. The British were defeated, providing the patriot cause its first major victory in the Revolutionary War. In January 1861, after the state’s secession from the Union, the legislature drew on the symbolism of the Second South Carolina’s colors and the fort’s palmetto logs to adopt the official flag of South Carolina.
Moultrie, William. Memoirs of the American Revolution. 1802. Reprint, New York: New York Times, 1968.
Wates, Wylma A. A Flag Worthy of Your State and People: The History of the South Carolina State Flag. 2d ed. Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1990.