Answered By: Marie Rose
Last Updated: Nov 17, 2015     Views: 81

The flag of the Corps of Cadets was presented to The Citadel in 1857 by the Washington Light Infantry. It is of blue silk. On one side is embroidered a large shield on which appears the design traditionally called the coat of arms of the State of South Carolina. This is an arrangement of two ovals representing the obverse (front) and reverse (back) of the state seal (palmetto tree on the obverse; goddess Spes, or Hope, on the reverse).

The ovals are supported by the goddess Liberty on the viewer's left, and a Revolutionary War officer on the viewer's right. Above the ovals flies a winged figure, the goddess Fame, blowing a trumpet. Surrounding the shield is the inscription "SOUTH CAROLINA MILITARY ACADEMY."

On the other side of the flag is embroidered an elaborate wreath of oak leaves, with a white star at the top and, within the wreath, the names of Revolutionary War engagements: FORT MOULTRIE, COWPENS, KING'S MOUNTAIN, EUTAW SPRINGS. Below the wreath is the inscription: OUR HERITAGE. The flag was carried by Citadel cadets in battle during the Civil War. After the war it was rescued by John Peyre Thomas and kept for a time at the Carolina Military Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In 1882 Thomas restored it to The Citadel, where it is now on display in The Citadel Museum. (Sources: John Bearden, "The Flag of the Corps of Cadets," Shako, vol. 37, no. 1 (Fall 1967), pp. 17, 19; John Peyre Thomas, The History of the South Carolina Military Academy, pp. 202-204, 303, 344. U430 .S51 T55 1991)

For more information about the South Carolina state coat of arms, see David C. R. Heisser, The South Carolina State Seal; A Short History, pp. 18-19 (REF CD5618 .S6 H45 1992).

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