South Carolina

flag of South Carolina
The Palmetto State
Admitted May 23, 1788

The South Carolina flag’s origins date back to the American Revolutionary War when Colonel William Moultrie designed their first militia flag, a silver crescent on a field of blue.

It has evolved since then (to include the palmetto tree), with one iteration having the shortest lifespan of any official U.S. state flag: just two days.

The current flag was adopted January 28, 1861.


The South Carolina flag features a white palmetto tree centered on a field of indigo with a white crescent in the upper left.

flag of South Carolina


  • a crescent shape


    military troops’ silver crescent on the front of their caps

    Note: The crescent is sometimes called a “gorget” although gorgets are typically worn around the throat.

  • a palmetto tree

    sabal palmetto

    a source of strong defense against British cannons during a fort attack on Sullivan’s Island


The Moultrie Flag’s blue was chosen to match the militia’s uniforms, however there are no official color guidelines.

South Carolina statute does not provide Cable or Pantone values for the indigo of the flag.The hex value here is approximate.


Similar to the colors of the flag, South Carolina has no official guidelines for the size of the flag nor the treatment of the crescent and palmetto. Because of this, the flag sees a lot of variation.

Regardless, the flag is often produced with a proportion of 2:3.

construction sheet for the flag of South Carolina

Previous iterations

Despite a variety of flags flying over South Carolina, only two have been officially recognized.

  • a field of blue with a white crescent in the upper left and inscribed with “Liberty”

    Moultrie Flag

    The flag supplied to militia units during the Revolutionary War, designed by William Moultrie.

  • a field of white charged with a green palmetto tree off-centered; in the upper left is a blue canton charged with a white crescent

    Unofficial draft

    A draft with the palmetto, the design later credited to Alexander S. Salley and Ellen Heyward Jervey.

  • a field of blue charged with a white oval containing a gold palmetto tree; in the upper left is a white crescent

    January 26–28, 1861

    The Two-Day Flag featured a gold palmetto within a white circle, changed moments later.

  • the current flag

    January 28, 1861–Present

    The current state flag of South Carolina.