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Fort Moultrie Flag

Fort Moultrie Flag

Texas 144.1

Regular price $8.00 Sale

Items Available: 12
Unlike several of the Revolutionary War flag patches in our collection, the Fort Moultrie Flag can trace its roots to a definitive origin. Some flags of this period can bring with them word of mouth tradition and folklore which adds to their awe and glory; but when one knows the sure history of a flag, it can inspire a sense of additional pride and brings historical clarity to the feelings behind its creation.

The Fort Moultrie Flag is named after its creator, Colonel William Moultrie, who was ordered by the South Carolina Council of Safety to take Fort Johnson from the British in the fall of 1775. Fort Johnson lay on James Island at the southwestern end of the mouth of the Charleston harbor. Keeping Charleston safe in colonial control would be crucial to eliminating any British threat from the southern end of the colonies, although formal hostilities had not yet kicked-off.   With rumors swirling of a colonial invasion, all but five British troops abandoned Fort Johnson to Moultrie’s 150 invading men and the colonists took the open door fort without a shot on September 15, 1775.  

Likely with provincial timing, the British ship Cherokee arrived later that day near Fort Johnson. To ensure a clear message was sent, the Council of Safety ordered Moultrie to raise a flag above the fort to signal the British eviction and that it housed new residents. Since South Carolina lacked a flag and no official flag design would be adopted by the united colonies until 1777, the Council asked Moultrie to create one.

Moultrie’s design intended to pay homage to his South Carolinian troops.  The soldiers wore blue uniforms to remember the blue flag with three crescent moons that flew during their protests of the Stamp Act over a decade earlier in 1765. Their azure outfits were complimented by silver crescents on their caps with the words “Liberty or Death” emblazoned on them.  It was no accident then that Moultrie chose to capture the troops’ allegiance to their history and South Carolinian pride by using a single, white crescent moon with the word “Liberty” on it amidst a solid blue field. Such a flag would be unmistakable in meaning to the British and no doubt the Cherokee got the message quickly.

In March of 1776, Moultrie and his troops began construction of Fort Sullivan on Sullivan Island across the bay.  This spot on Sullivan Island was even more crucial to the defense of the Charleston harbor as it faced mostly south and greeted any ship navigating toward it head on before they turned west exposing their starboard sides. The construction of the fort utilized the local Palmetto trees and an abundance of sand. These fortifications were very successful in helping repel a British attack on the fort on June 28, 1776. After a nine hour battle, with several ships being severely damaged, the British fleet retreated in defeat, their first in many years.  Ultimately, Moultrie's defense of the fort and harbor that day allowed Charleston to remain in colonial control for another three years, a major help to the colonies during the war. To honor his valiant service in this battle and the victory, Fort Sullivan was renamed to Fort Moultrie.

Our Fort Moultrie Flag patch reminds the one who wears it or the one who views it of this magnificent moment in Revolutionary War history and of the fidelity, bravery, and tradition of South Carolinian patriots.

  • 3x2"
  • Woven
  • Hook Backing
  • Released: 08/13/2020