The History of the Palmetto Moon

History of the Palmetto Moon

Have you ever wondered why there is a crescent moon paired with a tree on so many objects and souvenirs in South Carolina? Many of our valued visitors and even locals ask this question, and we are here to provide the answer.

What does the crescent moon represent?

There has to be more to this symbol than just being a moon and a tree, right? Absolutely. This crescent moon, when paired with the Palmetto tree, is the current symbol found on the state flag of South Carolina, which is why it is found on a variety of memorabilia in the state.

Where did it originate from?

The crescent moon pattern originated from a banner hoisted by protesters of the Stamp Act in 1765. The pattern on these banners was of three white crescents on a blue background. Ten years after this first appearance of the crescent pattern, it was used once again, but this time, only one single crescent moon was placed on a blue banner.  This banner was used to represent the South Carolina State Troops in the Revolutionary War. The crescent moon matched the symbol the soldiers wore on the front of their caps and the blue color of the flag was the same as their uniforms. The moon and flag were symbols of liberty during the revolution.

How did the symbol evolve?

During this battle against the British in the Revolutionary War, palmetto trees were laid over sand walls to protect South Carolina troops from the cannons being shot by the British war ships. The soft inside of the palmetto trees prevented the cannons from breaking through the wall and the palmetto tree became a significant symbol in South Carolina. In 1861, after South Carolina seceded from the Union, a state flag needed to be created. The blue flag with the crescent moon from the Revolutionary War was chosen and the palmetto tree was added to it, displaying the role it played in protecting South Carolina.

Where can I purchase a gift displaying the palmetto moon symbol?

The palmetto moon has significant meaning and is a piece of history here in South Carolina. If you want to take a piece of this history home with you, stop by Charleston Collections & Gifts. We offer wind chimes, hand etched tea glasses and sterling silver pendants and earrings, which all incorporate a visual of the palmetto moon symbol. Visit us next time you’re in the Charleston area and we can’t wait to show you how our gifts and collector’s items honor the history of South Carolina.

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