COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – As of February 2020, the state of South Carolina does not have an official law regulating the design of the state flag.
Scott Malyerck discovered this truth about three years ago when happened to be passing by the statehouse.
“I wondered why is there a different palmetto tree on the flag that I’ve seen for 30 years on top of the statehouse,” Malyerck said.
To get to the bottom of the slightly different looking flag, he asked his State Representative Rick Martin, of Newberry District 40.
Unfortunately, Rep. Martin didn’t have the answer he was hoping for.
“Honestly, I’d never noticed it,” Martin said.
After further research, Malyerck learned that there is no current legal description to dictate the official design of the South Carolina state flag.
Although states like Utah and California are two that come to mind as having to made or working to make official changes to regulate its state flag.
The South Carolina state flag was created with just a crescent in 1775 and the palmetto tree was added in 1861.
Malyerck explained that as long as the flag manufacturer puts a crescent and palmetto tree on a blue flag, it’s considered a state flag.
“Why is the company, who’s the low bidder, deciding what our flag looks like?” Malyerck asked.
After bringing the issue to Martin, it was decided that a five-person legislative committee would study the historical significance of the flag and create one flag.
The South Carolina Speaker of the House, Governor, Senator, Department of Administration ex-officio, and the State Archives each chose a committee person.
Malyerck was asked by the House Speaker to be on the committee.
“It’s not gonna cut out taxes, It’s not gonna fix our roads, It’s not gonna make our health care system better. It’s not that important, but,” Malyerck said,”It’s never just a flag, any flag is a symbol of something.”
“It’s who we are, where we come from and who we’re going to be,” Martin said.
The five-person committee worked for over a year, pouring over historical data and document to deliver a historically significant state flag to legislators in February.
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