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South Carolina State Symbols


Welcome to the Palmetto State! Leapin’ lizards! South Carolina boasts more symbols than almost any other state. In fact, lizards are just about the only things it hasn’t adopted as symbols. (Continued below)

South Carolina state flag South Carolina state seal
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames The Palmetto State, Swamp State, Rice State, Iodine State, Keystone of the South Atlantic Seaboard  
Symbols of State
Motto Animis Opibusque Parati 1776
Motto Dum Spiro Spero 1776
Song Carolina 1911
Flower Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) 1924
Wildflower goldenrod (Solidago altissima) 2003
Tree sabal palmetto (Sabal palmetto) 1939
Grass Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) 2001
Fruit peach (Prunus persica) 1984
Vegetable collard greens (Brassica oleracea) 2011
Bird Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) 1948
Bird (former) mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) 1930
Wild Game Bird turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) 1976
Duck wood duck (Aix sponsa) 2009
Animal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) 1972
Marine Mammal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) 2009
Migratory Marine Mammal northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) 2009
Dog Boykin Spaniel (Canis lupus familiaris) 1985
Heritage Horse Marsh tacky (Equus caballus) 2010
Heritage Work Animal Mule (Equus asinus x Equus caballus) 2010
Reptile loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) 1988
Amphibian spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) 1999
Fish striped bass (Morone saxatilis) 1972
Insect Carolina mantid (Stagmomantis carolina) 1988
Butterfly eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1994
Spider Carolina wolf spider (Hogna carolinensis) 2000
Shell lettered olive (Oliva sayana) 1984
Gem amethyst 1969
Stone blue granite 1969
Fossil † Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) 2014
Soil Bohicket (unofficial) Unofficial
Cultural Symbols
Colors indigo blue 2009
Snack Food boiled peanuts 2006
Picnic Cuisine barbecue 2014
Beverage milk Redundant Symbol 1984
Hospitality Beverage tea 1995
Tartan Carolina Tartan 2002
The Botanical Garden at Clemson University Clemson Botanical Garden 1992
Hall of Fame South Carolina Hall of Fame, Myrtle Beach Convention Center 2001
Railroad Museum South Carolina Railroad Museum, Fairfield County 1997
Tobacco Museum Tobacco Museum in the City of Mullins 2004
Dance shag 1984
American Folk Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1994
The State Music The Spiritual 1999
Popular Music beach music 2001
Home of the Beach Music Hall of Fame Coastal Carolina University 2009
Song South Carolina on My Mind 1984
Waltz Richardson Waltz 2000
Opera Porgy and Bess 2001
Rural Drama Center Abbeville Opera House 2001
Tapestry From the Mountains to the Sea 2000
Lowcountry Handcraft sweetgrass basket 2006
Folk Art and Crafts Center South Carolina Artisans Center, Walterboro 2000
Military Academy Camden Military Academy 2001
Flag Pledge 1966
Language English Redundant Symbol 1987

The Palmetto State’s symbols include three birds, six mammals, a spider, and a pile of cultural symbols. The most obnoxious symbol is probably the official military academy. Where are we, Sparta?

South Carolina’s state flower and bird, the yellow jessamine and Carolina wren, are among my favorites. However, South Carolina’s premier symbol is the sabal palmetto. It serves as the state tree and is also the source of the nickname Palmetto State. A palmetto also appears on South Carolina’s flag, which is one of the most beautiful state flags.

South Carolina has more cool symbols, including the beautiful loggerhead sea turtle. However, wading through the entire menagerie is a little daunting. Still, you may find some nice surprises.

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If you think state flags and flowers are nothing more than trivia, guess again. A thorough exploration of the more than 1,500 items adopted as state symbols embraces geography, history, and psychology.

You have found the best state symbols website, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The introduction above is adapted from Geobop’s State Symbols and My State Symbols Book, by far the biggest and most detailed state symbols references ever. You can learn still more about the symbols of the 50 states in the books Flag Quest and Grading the States. (Learn more about them here.)

After you spend some time exploring your favorite state’s symbols, you can come back here and tell us what you think about them.

South Carolina Symbols Store
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