South Carolinians Mock Redesigned Palmetto Tree on Proposed State Flag

The objective was to give you an ordinary design for the South Carolina state flag, one which residents may rally round, fly from their porches or proudly show on T-shirts, mugs and hats. However a proposed redesign of the beloved palmetto tree on the flag hasn’t precisely made hearts swell with state delight.

One particular person said it resembled a toilet bowl brush. Others mentioned it seemed like one of many palmettos battered by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Nonetheless others in contrast it to the forlorn little Christmas tree from the 1965 tv basic “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Scott Malyerck, a political guide who helped create the design as a member of the South Carolina State Flag Examine Committee, mentioned with some understatement that the tree had “not been uniformly liked by all South Carolinians.”

“I’ve learn tons of of feedback,” he mentioned, including that everybody appeared to have an opinion. “It’s laborious to give you a quintessential palmetto tree that everybody will likely be in favor of.”

The panel met for the primary time in 2018 and delivered its closing recommendations in March, however the redesigned palmetto didn’t acquire broad consideration till just lately when The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., reported on the design and was inundated with complaints that the tree was “horrible” and “horrible!”

“Because it seems, individuals hate it,” the newspaper reported. “They actually, actually hate it.”

Ronnie W. Cromer, a state senator who helped create the flag research committee, mentioned that on account of the blowback, he deliberate to ask the committee members, who had labored with historians and graphic designers, to create a extra interesting palmetto to correctly characterize the state.

“I can’t say it was essentially the most stunning design I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Cromer mentioned. “It might be good to have just a little nicer-looking tree.”

The proposed redesign was certain to fire up passions in South Carolina, given the recognition of the palmetto, the official state tree, on clothes, seashore towels and different items, Mr. Malyerck mentioned.

The panel mentioned the South Carolina flag — which additionally incorporates a blue background and a crescent — was “one of the vital engaging, recognizable, and marketable state flags within the nation.”

Credit score…South Carolina State Flag Examine Committee

The panel didn’t wish to alter the flag’s conventional symbols however felt it was essential to give you an ordinary model as a result of the state has not had one official design for the flag since 1940, when the flag code was repealed.

Because of this, the panel mentioned, flag producers have been producing their very own variations, every with slight variations within the colour, structure and form of the symbols.

“The thought is simply to make it traditionally correct and uniform,” Mr. Malyerck mentioned. “Flag producers mustn’t determine what it ought to appear like.”

To give you its suggestions, the panel delved deeply into South Carolina historical past and vexillology, the research of flags.

The panel selected a selected indigo for the background after noting that the officers of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment, commanded by Col. William Moultrie throughout the Revolutionary Conflict, wore uniforms of that colour.

These blue uniforms additionally impressed Moultrie to create the primary South Carolina flag utilizing the identical colour, the panel mentioned. Indigo dye, cultivated within the South Carolina Lowcountry on the time of the Revolution, made blue a logical alternative.

In designing the crescent, the committee examined interval examples on Moultrie’s flag, in addition to crescent-shaped badges worn on Revolutionary Conflict caps.

However the panel acknowledged that “maybe essentially the most troublesome process that the committee has confronted in its work has been the adoption of an applicable and historic palmetto to seem on the flag.”

The palmetto is a revered image of the defeat of the British fleet at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island. The fort was constructed of palmetto logs, which absorbed the influence of cannon balls, according to the State Legislature’s website.

Finally, the committee primarily based its design for the tree on a 1910 pencil sketch by Ellen Heyward Jervey, an artist and librarian from Charleston, who supplied drawings of crescents and palmettos that had been utilized by a state official, A.S. Salley, to design the state flag that yr.

“We wished her to have the credit score,” mentioned W. Eric Emerson, the director of the South Carolina Division of Archives and Historical past, who served on the panel. “This is similar time the nineteenth Modification was being handed. This was a girl who contributed her efforts to the creation of the South Carolina state flag and bought no credit score for it.”

However Mr. Emerson mentioned that Ms. Jervey’s sketch proved troublesome to translate right into a palmetto tree “that appears much like what persons are used to.”

“In order that’s how we ended up with what we had,” he mentioned.

Mr. Cromer mentioned that the general public had spoken and that modifications must be made.

“We listened to our constituents,” he mentioned, “and we’re going again to the drafting board on that tree.”

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