salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)
was designated the official AMPHIBIAN
of South Carolina in 1999, after a campaign by
the third grade class at Woodlands Heights
Elementary School in Spartanburg.
designated the white-tailed
deer (odocoileus virginianus)
as the official state ANIMAL in
||As of 1984, all
but seven South Carolina counties had at least
one dairy farm, which is why the General Assembly
named milk the official state BEVERAGE
wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
replaced the mockingbird as the official state BIRD
designated the tiger swallowtail
(Pterourus glaucus) as the official
state BUTTERFLY in 1994.
Shag was designated the official state DANCE
in 1984. A form of Southern swing, shagging is
said to have begun along the Grand Strand as
early as the 1920's.
designated the Boykin spaniel as
official state DOG in 1985. The
breed was developed in the early 1900's by South
Carolinian L. W. "Whit" Boykin, who
trained a friend's stray, spaniel type dog,
"Dumpy," to be a superior hunt dog and
retriever. Dumpy subsequently became the father
of the Boykin spaniel.
duck (Aix sponsa), a year-round
resident of South Carolina, was designated the
official state DUCK in 2009.
bass (Morone saxatilis) was
designated the official state FISH
in 1972. South Carolina's Santee Cooper Lakes
were the original home for the landlocked striped
||The state FLAG
of South Carolina was adopted on January
28, 1861. The crescent symbol represents the
silver emblem worn on the caps of South Carolina
troops during the Revolutionary War, and the
background color matches the blue of their
uniforms. The flag also features the sabal palm,
the state tree.
jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)
was designated the official state FLOWER on
March 14,1924. According to the enabling act, it
was chosen because "its delicate flower
suggests the pureness of gold; its perpetual
return out of the dead winter suggests the lesson
of constancy in, loyalty to, and patriotism in
the service of the State."
designated the square dance as
its official FOLK DANCE in 1994.
designated the Columbian mammoth
as the official state FOSSIL in
2014, prompted by a letter from 8-year-old Olivia
McConnell of New Zion to her state legislator
pointing out that the state had no official
fossil. She suggested this particular animal
because in 1725 slaves discovered a tooth from a
Columbian mammoth on a South Carolina plantation.
ranks second in fresh peach
production in the United States (behind
California and ahead of Georgia), which is why
peaches were designated the official state FRUIT
turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) was
designated the official state GAME BIRD
was designated the official state GEMSTONE
on June 24, 1969. This designation followed the
discovery of several world-class amethysts at the
Ellis-Jones Mine near Due West, samples of which
are on display at the American Museum of Natural
History and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural
designated Indian grass (Sorghastrum
nutans) as the official state GRASS
basket-making came to South Carolina in
the 17th century by way of West Africans brought
to America to work on plantations. The State
Legislature recognized the tradition by making
the sweetgrass basket the official HANDICRAFT
designated the marsh tacky (Equus
caballus) as the official state HORSE
in 2010. Tracing its heritage back to stock
that arrived with Spanish explorers, the marsh
tacky has been in the state for over 400 years.
Once thought extinct, DNA testing in 2005 proved
the breed was still alive in coastal South
Carolina-grown tea was designated the
official state HOSPITALITY BEVERAGE
in 1995. Tea was first brought to North America
in 1799 by French botanist André Michaux, as a
gift for future governor Henry Middleton, owner
of Middleton Barony in Dorchester County. The
plant was originally grown solely as an
ornamental and its leaves were never brewed.
Since then, however, the coastal region of South
Carolina has proven to be ideal for harvesting
tea, and an island just south of Charleston is
home to the only teagarden in America.
designated the Carolina mantid (Stagmomantis
carolina) as the official state INSECT
in 1988 as a symbol of the science of entomology
and its special role in agriculture controlling
||Made for the
Commons House of Assembly in 1756, the South
Carolina MACE is the oldest,
continuously used one by any U.S. state
legislature. At almost 4' long and weighing over
10 pounds, the mace stands for the authority of
the South Carolina House of Representatives.
dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
was designated the official state MARINE
MAMMAL in 2009.
right whale (Eubalaena glacialis
glacialis) was designated the official state
MIGRATORY MARINE ANIMAL in 2009.
||South Carolina has
two state MOTTOS, both of which
were first used in 1777 when the state seal had
two sides. On the front of this seal was "Animis
Opibusque Parati," which is Latin
for "Prepared in Mind and Resources,"
and the back had "Dum Spiro Spero,"
which is Latin for "While I Breathe, I
was passed down orally for many years and first
committed to writing in South Carolina on St.
Helena Island by a freed black woman and a white
Union Army officer during the Civil War. The
publication of an 1867 book on slave songs was
the result of the work done by an educational
mission on the Port Royal islands in 1861. South
Carolina made the spiritual its official state MUSIC
native DuBose Heyward wrote the novel Porgy,
featuring the fictional Catfish Row and its
Gullah residents in 1925. George
Gershwin turned the novel into the opera Porgy
and Bess in 1935, and the opera was
designated the official state OPERA
||Penned by Mrs.
John R. Carson in 1950, "I salute the flag
of South Carolina and pledge to the Palmetto
State love, loyalty and faith." was
officially designated the state PLEDGE
||The official NICKNAME
for South Carolina is The Palmetto
State, referring to the state tree
(the sabal palmetto).
music, which originated around the time
of the second World War and has come to be
regarded as synonymous with the official state
dance, the Carolina shag, was designated the
official state POPULAR MUSIC in
||Thanks to a
fifth-grade class from Ninety-Six in Greenwood
County, the loggerhead sea turtle
(Caretta caretta) was designated the
official state REPTILE in 1988.
||The state SEAL
was first used in 1777, although it was two sided
at that time. Eventually the two sides were
combined so that they fit next to each other on a
one-sided seal. The left oval was originally the
front of the seal, and has Animis Opibusque
Parati. The palmetto tree represents a
battle victory against the British at present-day
Fort Moultrie during the Revolutionary
War. The right oval was originally the
reverse side of the seal, and it has Dum
Spiro Spero. The woman pictured is Spes, the
Roman goddess of hope.
designated the lettered olive (Oliva
sayana) as the official state SHELL
in 1984. The shell was found and named by Dr.
Edmund Ravenel of Charleston, South Carolina.
peanut was designated the official state
SNACK FOOD in 2006.
||South Carolina has
two official state SONGS. Acting
on the memorial of the South Carolina Daughters
of the American Revolution that the patriotic
written by South Carolina poet Henry Timrod and
set to music by Anne Custis Burgess, was
designated on February 11, 1911. "South
Carolina on My Mind," written and
recorded by Hank Martin and Buzz Arledge, both
native South Carolinians, was designated in 1984.
was designated the official state SOUTHERN
PICNIC CUISINE in 2014.
designated the Carolina wolf spider
(Hogna carolinensis) as the official
state SPIDER in 2000, due to the
efforts of Skyler B. Hutto, a third grade
student at Sheridan Elementary School in
||South Carolina is
one of the largest producers of granite in the
United States. Blue granite is
unique to the Midlands and the Piedmont region of
the state, and was designated the official state STONE
designated "From the Mountains
to the Sea" as the official
state TAPESTRY in 2000. The
tapestry was made from 100% cotton and represents
all areas of South Carolina. It is displayed at
the South Carolina Cotton Museum in Bishopville,
||The Carolina TARTAN
is based on a fragment of a coat of the Royal
Company of Archers dated c.1730, believed to be
the same sett as was used for the wedding ribbons
of Charles II in 1661. (The Carolina colonies
were named for King Charles).
designated the sabal palmetto (Inodes
palmetto) as the official state TREE
in 1939. The palmetto symbolizes the defeat of
the British fleet at Fort Moultrie on
Sullivans Island, which was constructed of
palmetto logs that were able to absorb the impact
of cannon balls.
designated collard greens (Brassica
oleracea) as the official state VEGETABLE
in 2011, as a result of efforts made by Mary
Grace Wingard, a third-grader from Lexington,
South Carolina. South Carolina ranks second in
the nation, and Lexington County ranks first
among the counties of South Carolina, in collard
goldenrod (Solidago altissima)
became South Carolina's state WILDFLOWER
in 2003, championed by garden clubs after it was
determined their first choice, Queen Anne's Lace,
is not native to the state.