One of the plenty of unique things around living in south Carolina is the sweeping use of the south Carolina State Flag symbols to stand for our link to home.

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I’ve excellent a little research and also I can’t find any type of other state where the signs on the flag have become so typically used. (Of course, poor Virginia never had a possibility – their symbol illustrates who in a toga stepping top top some poor soul. Imagine the on her koozie or the back of your car.)

Nevertheless, the icons on our flag connect all of us as southern Carolinians. Once, when we stayed in Idaho, someone passed me top top the highway honking and also waving like my auto was ~ above fire. “What in the world….?” I assumed – until the automobile passed me and also I witnessed that they, too, had actually a south Carolina decal on the ago of your car. I’m surprised us didn’t traction over and start hugging each other.

Symbols are important in a culture. They’re deliberately crafted come spark a feeling within us as soon as we check out them. The symbols on

our State Flag, now used so commonly on the back of ours cars (and top top shirts, plastic cups, Christmas ornaments, backpacks, etc., etc.), to be chosen since they illustrated principles that all south Carolinians at the moment could connect with. Originating in 1775, the blue that the flag stood for the color of the uniforms worn through soldiers in ~ the time. The crescent (no, the isn’t a moon) stood for the silver emblem worn on their caps. That wasn’t till 1861 that the palmetto tree was included to commemorate Colonel william Moultrie’s valiant defense the the palmetto-log fort on Sullivan’s Island against the british Fleet in 1776.

But symbols room funny things. They originate, together did the symbols on our State Flag, to connect us to a shared experience. Yet as shortly as we see the symbol ours imaginations, fueled by our own feelings, experiences, and also perceptions, start turning it right into something unique personal. That becomes distinct to us since we affix to it in a very intimate way.

I love the background of our State Flag symbols and put the decal on my car as a reflection of my proud in being a native South

Carolinian. However it means so much more to me than that. The palmetto tree and also crescent say “home”. When I see it i am flooded through memories and also feelings. I’m sit in a swing on the waterfront in Beaufort on a summer evening; I’m wading in Wallace Creek ~ above St. Helena Island through my grandmother. I have the right to taste the shrimp burger in ~ The Shrimp Shack and smell the decadent chocolatey scents of The coco Tree. I’m at the beach, where I have the right to hear the seagulls fighting over my cheese puffs. The mockingbirds are singing ~ above a beautiful spring day, perched in a blooming dogwood tree or azalea bush.

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The usage of the southern Carolina State Flag symbols in our everyday life on our day-to-day objects says “we love our home”.

And isn’t that the truth?

Story by Elizabeth Bishop Later

Editor’s note: composed as ‘Symbols that Home’, by Elizabeth Bishop later on for A Place referred to as Home: A memoir that Beaufort and St. Helena Island, southern Carolina. You deserve to read much more from the book and writings the Sonny Bishop and also Elizabeth Bishop later at We appreciate Elizabeth and Sonny’s sharing of their Beaufort memories, neighborhood lore and history, and some musings through us all. Be certain to follow them ~ above facebook too for more good local inspiration!