List of South Carolina state symbols

The State of South Carolina has many official state symbols, holidays and designations and they have been selected to represent the history, resources, and possibilities of the state. The palmetto and crescent moon of the state flag is South Carolina's best-known symbol. It is seen on shirts and bumperstickers and is often adapted throughout the state to show support for collegiate teams or interest in particular sports activities.

Symbols of sovereignty

The state has several symbols that represent its sovereignty and from where it was gained. The state House of Representatives has used a ceremonial mace since 1880. When the House is in session, the mace is placed in a specially designed rack in front of the Speaker of the House. The state Senate uses a Sword of State. The current Sword of State was a gift from Lord Halifax, a former British ambassador to the United States, and has been in use since 1951. The original Sword of State was obtained in 1704 and used by the Governor of the South Carolina Colony. The state flag originated to represent the militia that fought for independence in 1776. The Seal of South Carolina was adopted in 1776. The seals of the Senate and House incorporate the Sword of State and the Mace respectively.

List of state symbols

State symbols (year adopted):

  • State amphibian: Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) – The spotted salamander is the only amphibian indigenous to the whole State and was nominated by a third grade class from Woodlands Heights Elementary School, Spartanburg, as the state amphibian. (1999)
  • State animal: White-tailed Deer – Every county in South Carolina features an open season on deer. (1972)
  • State beverages
    • State beverage: Milk – Milk was selected as the official beverage of the state because of its dietary value and since dairy farms are found in 39 of 46 counties. The dairy industry in South Carolina generates $200 million in economic activity. (1984)
    • State hospitality beverage: Tea – The first place that tea was grown in the United States was in South Carolina in 1799. (1995)
  • State Birds
    • State Bird: Carolina Wren – The mockingbird was designated the state bird from 1939 until 1948, when the wren received the designation. The wren was chosen as the state bird because its song can be heard all year long. (1948)
    • State Wild Game Bird: Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) – Hunted during a spring season, wild turkeys are found throughout the state. (1976)
  • State Butterfly: Eastern tiger swallowtail – English artist Mark Catesby painted the first picture of this butterfly in South Carolina in 1725. (1994)
  • State Color: Indigo blue – The color indigo blue comes from from the uniforms of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment, led by Colonel William Moultrie. The state flag is Indigo blue in remembrance of this regiment and the Palmetto tree on the flag recalls their successful defense of Charleston using a fort built of palmetto logs. (2008)
  • State Craft: Sweetgrass Basket weaving – Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia filipes), being native to the coastal dunes of the Carolinas, provided the perfect material for African slaves to utilize their traditional skills and produce a tightly-woven coiled basket. This handcraft has been passed down through generations and a high concentration of basket weavers is still found near Mount Pleasant. To this day, the form of the sweetgrass baskets woven in South Carolina closely resemble their African counterparts.
  • State Dances
    • State Dance: Shag – The shag was selected as the state dance because it originated in South Carolina. (1984)
    • State American Folk Dance: Square dance – Square dancing is recognized for its contributions to the cultural life of South Carolina. (1994)
    • State Waltz: Richardson waltz – The state waltz originated from the descendants of Richard Richardson, an American revolutionary war general. (2000)
  • State Dog: Boykin Spaniel – The Boykin spaniel was first bred in South Carolina near Spartanburg.
  • State Grass: Indian Grass, Sorghastrum nutans – The General Assembly wrote that Indian grass is "a native, nonnoxious plant, with a historical, continuing, widespread, and beneficial existence in South Carolina." (2001)
  • State Fish: striped bass or rockfish – Thirty to forty pound striped bass can be caught in the Santee Cooper lakes, making bass fishing a popular pastime. (1972)
  • State Flowers
    • State Flower: Yellow Jessamine – The return of yellow jessamine each spring is thought to suggest the lesson of "constancy in, loyalty to and patriotism in the service of the State."
    • State wildflower: Goldenrod (solidago altissima) – With a long bloom time and log lasting flowers, Goldenrod was selected as the "official state wildflower."
  • State Fruit: Peach – South Carolina is the second largest producer of peaches, behind California and ahead of Georgia (the Peach State). (1984)
  • State Gemstone: Amethyst – South Carolina is one of a few U.S. States where good quality amethyst gems can be found. (1969)
  • State Insect: Carolina Mantid (Stagmomantis carolina) – One reason that the Carolina mantid was selected as the state insect is for its use in agriculture in managing harmful insects. (1988)
  • State Mottos:
  • State music: Spiritual – Spirituals are songs that originated in the oral traditions of African-American slaves. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is one of the best known examples. Spirituals were first written down on St. Helena Island during the Civil War. (1999)
  • State popular music: Beach music – Beach music is closely associated with the state dance, the Shag, and is also considered to have originated in Myrtle Beach. (2001)
  • State Reptile: Loggerhead Sea Turtle – The Loggerhead is a threatened species that nests on the shores of South Carolina. (1988)
  • State shell: Lettered Olive, Oliva sayana – The Lettered olive was found and named by a South Carolinian, Dr. Edmund Ravenel of Charleston. (1984)
  • State Snack: Boiled peanuts – Boiled peanuts are a popular snack food in the Southern U.S.
  • State Songs:
  • State spider: "Carolina Wolf Spider", Hogna carolinensis – The state spider was the idea of a third grade student as a way for other students to learn more about this native spider. (2000)
  • State Stone: Blue Granite – Many buildings throughout the state have been constructed with blue granite mined here. (1969)
  • State tartan: The Carolina Tartan – The Carolina tartan recognizes the heritage of Scottish settlers in South Carolina, who began immigrating here in the late seventeenth century. (2002)
  • State tapestry: The tapestry, "From the Mountains to the Sea" – The state tapestry, on display at the South Carolina Cotton Museum, depicts scenes of the state on a cotton fabric fifty-four inches wide by seventy-two inches long. (2000)
  • State Tree: Sabal palmetto – The palmetto has been a symbol for South Carolina since the American Revolutionary War when it was used to build a fort on Sullivan's Island that withstood British attack. The palmetto tree appears on the first symbol of the state, the seal created in 1777. It was officially named the state tree in 1939. (1939)

List of state holidays and observances

Holidays for South Carolina (when state government offices are closed) include

South Carolina observes numerous special days and weeks throughout the year.

List of additional state designations

The pledge to the flag of South Carolina is "I salute the flag of South Carolina and pledge to the Palmetto State love, loyalty and faith."

The Botanical Garden of Clemson University is designated the State Botanical Garden.

The South Carolina Tobacco Museum in Mullins is the official tobacco museum.

The South Carolina Railroad Museum in Winnsboro is the official railroad museum.

Camden Military Academy is designated as the official military academy.

The South Carolina Hall of Fame located in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, is the official state hall of fame.

The South Carolina Artisans Center, in Walterboro, is the official folk art and crafts center of the State of South Carolina.

In 2001, the Abbeville Opera House received the designation of the official state rural drama theater.

See also


External links

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