SOUTH CAROLINA, (WSPA) – As of February 2020, the state of South Carolina does not have an official law regulating the design of the state flag.
Scott Malyerck discovered this truth about three years ago when he happened to be passing by the statehouse.
“I wondered why is there a different palmetto tree on the flag that I’ve seen for 30 years on top of the statehouse,” Malyerck said.
To get to the bottom of the slightly different looking flag, he asked his State Representative Rick Martin, of Newberry District 40.
Unfortunately Rep. Martin didn’t have the answer he was hoping for.
“Honestly, I’d never noticed it,” Martin said.
After further research, Malyerck learned that there is no current legal description to dictate the official design of the South Carolina state flag.
Although states like Utah and California, are two that come to mind as having make or are working to make official changes, to regulate the state flags.
Malyerck explained that as long as the flag manufacturer puts a crescent and palmetto tree on a blue flag, it’s considered a state flag.
“Why is the company, who’s the low bidder, deciding what our flag looks like?” Malyerck asked.
After bringing the issue to Rep. Martin, he and Senator Ronnie Cromer put in bills to adopt an official flag.
To help build upon this bill, it was decided that a five person legislative committee would study the historical significance of the flag, and then create one universal state flag.
Here are a few of the noteworthy state flag history facts Malyerck used to create the final flag:
- American Revolutionary War Colonel, William Moultrie, designed SC’s flag
- The crescent is from Moultrie’s family seal, it means second sons
- The blue color of the flag is representative of their uniforms
- The palmetto tree symbolized Colonel Moultrie’s defense of the palmetto log fort on Sullivan’s Island against the British
The South Carolina Speaker of the House, Governor, Senator, Department of Administration ex-officio, and the State Archives each chose a committee person.
Malyerck was asked by the House Speaker to be on the committee.
“It’s not gonna cut out taxes, It’s not gonna fix our roads, It’s not gonna make our health care system better. It’s not that important, but,” Malyerck said,”It’s never just a flag, any flag is a symble of something.”
“It’s who we are, where we come from and who we’re going to be,” Martin said.
The five person committee worked for over a year, pouring over historical data and document to deliver a historically significant state flag to legislators in February.