The heavy-duty bracket I purchased to display our American flag sits patiently on the garage shelf. The flagpole and flag stay wrapped in the plastic they came in. I hesitate with this little DIY project because I’m mounting the bracket onto a rounded wood column on the front porch. If the column isn’t solid throughout, it may not support the Stars and Stripes. Or the Palmetto State flag, for that matter.
If you’re not familiar with the South Carolina state flag, you are now. Not very exciting, eh? A white palmetto tree in the middle and a white crescent to the upper left, on a rectangle of deep blue. Okay, but what about why the flag has this look? That’s a little more interesting. All of it is a nod to the Revolutionary War. The crescent could be found on an American soldier’s cap, palmetto logs were used to build the forts they fought from, and the deep blue was the color of their uniforms. My assumption was simply, “Oh, our state has a lot of palm trees and a lot of clear moonlit nights.”
The same could be said for the state of our former residence. Colorado’s flag is likewise simple, with a big red “C” for Colorado surrounding what I assumed was a yellow nod to the state’s bountiful days of sunshine (300+/year). Nope, I only got the sunshine part right. The “C” represents “columbine” (state flower) and “centennial” (Colorado became a state in the hundredth year of America’s independence). The red represents the state’s distinctive sandstone soil, the white its ever-present snow, and the blue its endless skies (which really are an amazing blue). More than meets the eye with this “state flyover”, am I right?
Not content with just SC and CO, I decided to give a few other state flags a whirl… literally. I flicked my mouse wheel the way someone might spin the bottle, for an unsuspecting
kiss choice from the list. Up came ME. There’s a lot going on with Maine’s state flag, including a couple of proud characters and a moose that looks rather cartoonish. “Dirigo”, from a long-ago-but-now-defunct language of the region, means simply, “I lead”.
Here’s a further sampling of U.S. state flag trivia:
- Arkansas was the first of the fifty states to produce diamonds.
- Hawaii was once under British control, so their flag includes a small version of the “Union Jack”.
- Montana’s motto is “gold and silver”.
- Ohio’s flag is not rectangular and includes a “swallowtail” notch (which can’t be said for any of the others).
- Oregon’s flag has a different design on each side.
- Utah’s flag changes in 2024, to better represent the makeup of the state’s residents.
If you live in an American state, you should play this game yourself. Scroll to the image of your flag in the article: The state flag for all 50 states… but before you read the written description, make your best guess on the colors and symbols. It’s fair to say most Americans don’t really know our state flags.
South Carolinians love to fly flags. You’ll see the colors of colleges and universities from all over down here (including the red/black of those nearby football champion Georgia Bulldogs). You’ll see a lot of those “garden flags” designed to represent the year’s seasons and holidays. But mostly you see the Stars and Stripes, and the Palmetto and Crescent. South Carolina’s forever nod to the Revolutionary War means I’ll never look at our flag the same way again. Now I just have to get the bracket where it belongs so I can hoist the banner same as every other resident.
Some content sourced from the USA Today article, “The state flag for all 50 states…”, and Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia”.