S.C. flag still stirs up debate

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The S.C. state flag is a tourism bureau's dream -- a palmetto tree that appears to be rustling in a nighttime breeze, illuminated by a perfect crescent moon.

But the flag, one of the most recognizable and best-selling state banners in the nation, has nothing to do with condos or beaches, smiling faces or beautiful places.

Because that's not necessarily the moon.

Nearly 150 years after it was adopted as the state flag, historians and scholars still can't agree on exactly what that doohickey in the top left corner of the flag means. It's a crescent, they concede, but what exactly it stands for is a subject of some contention.

"That's something that has been debated for years," said John Tucker, assistant director of the S.C. Historical Society. "A lot of people don't realize it goes back to the war."

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