Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Flags of the Fort at Fort Sumter

Marker ID:  
Location: At Fort Sumter, Ft Sumter NP, Charleston, SC
County: Charleston
Coordinates: N 32° 45.138    W 079° 52.475
  32.7523    -79.87458333


The flags flying from the five shorter flagpoles that surround the American flag represent the flags flown over Fort Sumter during the Civil War.
Upper left:
The first official flag of the Confederacy, known as the "Stars and Bars," or "First National," was raised in April 1861 when Southern forces occupied Fort Sumter at the start of the Civil War.

Lower left:
Flying at the far left, the United States flag with thirty-three stars was the flag of the Union garrison which occupied the fort from December 1860 until Confederate bombardment forced their surrender in mid-April 1861.

The color and symbols of the South Carolina state flag represent important events in South Carolina military history.

Early South Carolina regiments wore blue uniforms with a silver crescent on their caps. In 1776, a flag with a silver crescent on a blue field flew over the palmetto log fort on Sullivan's Island, not the site of Fort Moultrie. In a key Revolutionary War battle, the small garrison of the palmetto log fort repulsed an attack by British warships; the white palmetto tree on the blue field commemorates this battle.

The flag was officially adopted in 1861 and is still in use today.

Upper right:
The second official Confederate flag, called the "Second National," replaced the first banner in 1863. It flew over the fort until Confederate troops withdrew from all Charleston harbor defenses in February 1865.

Lower right:
The United States flag at the far right was raised in February 1865 when Union forces reoccupied the fort at the end of the Civil War. Note the 35 stars; two new states, Kansas and West Virginia, had joined the Union during the war.


More information:
Wikipedia - South Carolina in the American Civil War
Wikipedia - Fort Sumter
Wikipedia - Fort Moultrie
Wikipedia - Charleston, South Carolina in the American Civil War