It was 1775 when American Colonel William Moultrie took possession of a fort made of palmetto logs in South Carolina, and he needed a flag. His troops’ clothing was blue. They had silver crescents on their caps, and the words “Liberty or Death.” So a blue flag was sewn, with a crescent in the upper corner. In Moultrie’s words:
“This was the first American flag displayed in the South.”
The next year, 1776, the Americans were defending Fort Sullivan in a battle with the British. The blue flag was flying, but during the fight it fell down onto the beach, outside the fort. Sergeant William Jasper leaped over the parapet, ran the length of the fort and recovered the flag. He managed to get back into the fort and get the flag fastened and flying again.
The Americans fought off the British, and saved the fort. Fort Sullivan was later renamed Moultrie, in honor of Colonel Moultrie’s stand against the British.
Later in April 1780, the British returned to Charleston Harbor, past Fort Moultrie, and captured the city. General Moultrie was captured with other American officers. While prisoner, a Loyalist tried to convince him to enlist in the British Army. Moultrie responded:
“When I entered into this contest, I did it with the most mature deliberation, and with a determined resolution to risque my life and fortune in the cause. The hardships I have gone through I look back upon with the greatest pleasure and honor to myself: I shall continue to go on as I have begun, that my example may encourage the youths of America to stand forth in defence of their rights and liberties.”
General Moultrie remained true to the Patriot cause. He is a true ,Revolutionary War hero and leader in South Carolina history.
Well done, General Moultrie.
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