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South Carolina and Confederate Flag Facts

Dateline: 01/18/2000

As South Carolina's display of the Confederate Flag evolves from a debate into a campaign issue, it is at least interesting to note that the state's official flag contains no elements of the Confederate Flag while the official flags of four other states do. 

The Official South Carolina State Flag

The crescent moon was South Carolina's symbol when it was a British Colony. The tree is a Palmetto and signifies a fort built of Palmetto logs on Sullivan's Island in Charleston Harbor during the American Revolution.

The Flag of the Confederate States of America

While this flag (the "Navy Jack") is generally recognized as the official flag of the Confederacy, there were a number of Confederate Flags used during the Civil War. Many Southern regiments and companies had their own unique flags. The Official Flags of the Confederacy web sites shows several flags in order and the Museum of the Confederacy  site offers this Confederate Flag Collection.

South Carolina's Display of the Confederate Flag

The South Carolina State House in Columbia displays three flags in the following order from top to bottom:

  • The Flag of the United States of America
  • The South Carolina State Flag
  • The Flag of the Confederate States of America

Whether the State's use of the Confederate flag is appropriate or not, this is the correct order of display according to the Flag Code (Title 36, U.S.C., Chapter 10) which states, in part...

"When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag's right."

The Flag Code makes no mention of other flags that may not be displayed along with the U.S. Flag.

Flags of Other Southern States

The official flags of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi display elements from the recognized Confederate Flag, while the official flag of  South Carolina does not.


Alabama State Flag

Georgia State Flag

Florida State Flag

Mississippi State Flag

Related Web Resources

Thousands march against Confederate flag in South Carolina
CNN Report from 1/17/2000.

NAACP Announces Economic Sanctions Against South Carolina
Press release from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Africans in America
Companion site to the PBS series. Examines the economic and intellectual foundations of racial slavery in America and the global economy that prospered from it.

The African American: A Journey from Slavery to Freedom
From the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library.

South Carolina Heritage Coalition 
The group dedicated to keeping the Confederate flag flying over the South Carolina State House.

South Carolina State House Network
Features links to live webcasts and who's who at the State House.

State Flags of the United States 
Nice clipart images for use and reference, presented by the Oklahoma University College of Law.

On Other About.com Guide Sites

Waving the Flag
A view of the Confederate Flag debate from About.com's Guide to Columbia, SC, Jesse Bannister.

Race and Justice
About.com Guide to Race Relations, Kim JHohman's list of web resources relating to race and the US criminal justice system.

Flags From Everywhere
The list of online flag resources used by About.com's expert Guide to Geography, Matt Rosenberg.


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