Palmetto Trees


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Why Are There Palmetto Trees in the Median?

Back on June 28, 1776 the British fleet, with 9 warships and 270 heavy guns, attacked the fort on Sullivan Island. It had been built with sand and logs from the palmetto tree, whose insides contain thick elastic fibers which smothered the bombs before they could explode, frustrating the British. The Americans were so low on ammunition that they could only fire 1 shot for every 6 they received.

The tide of the battle turned, literally, that day when the tide went out, since some of the British ships ran aground on the shoal where Fort Sumter now stands. The British abandoned the ship, Actaeon. After a day of heavy fighting and the loss of a ship, the Brits gave up and sailed away, giving the States their first major victory of the Revolutionary War.

Within days came the signing of the Declaration of Independence, as the victory was a favorable sign of the Americans’ capacity to oppose the British. The tough palmetto tree was then given the place of honor in the middle of the SC flag, and the state’s nickname eventually became the Palmetto State.