Tuesday, January 31, 2012

oh my Carolina...

I went to the SC Military Museum last year with my mom and Nanny as part of a DAR meeting. I wasn’t super excited to be going but I wanted to support my mom and Nanny so I went.

It was actually really awesome and our tour guide, Buddy, was fantastic. Buddy is the curator and those little old ladies held on to every word he said! I learned so many new things and had a few facts set straight. For example- our state flag…
Did you know that the crescent moon in the SC state flag was not originally meant to be a moon??? (I know hold your shock in! I will explain!) It actually originated from a piece of armor known as a gorget. British officers wore the gorget as a ceremonial ornament and it was placed over the heart area. The crescent symbol is also found on the front of the hats of SC troops in the Revolutionary War. Gorgets were eventually discontinued but the design of the crescent was still used as a unit symbol and inspired the design of the first unit flags.

Col. Moultrie was asked to designed the first flag in 1775. Here's what they got:

The palmetto wasn't added till 1861! The palmetto tree was added to symbolize Col. Moultrie’s heroic defense with the palmetto-log fort against the British.

I didn’t know that!!! Wasn't in my SC History class in school! I just assumed, with many others, that it was the moon (the Carolina moon shining down… type thing, ya know?).
There is also a Medal of Honor display inside the museum, showcasing MoH recipients from South Carolina. Photographs of the recipients, along with a brief biography, line the wall. I cannot tell you how humbling it was to stand there and be able to acknowledge these brave South Carolinians.
The museum has uniforms from different eras as well as a huge assortment of firearms and military vehicles. They have a section dedicated to Melvin Purvis and  Captain Peter Mason (sorry, it's a Wiki link. There isn't much on the internet about top-secret, covert, highly skilled assassins ya know?!).

Purvis, a SC Native and USC grad, was an FBI agent and was with the team that took down the infamous bank robber John Dillinger.

Mason was an assassin that literally had a license to kill issued to him by the British government. His life, experience, and knowledge were used as the inspiration for the 007 movies. They have some of his spy gear, including a spy camera (I have one that is similar!!), umbrella with a cap laced with a poisonous needle, and “trick” guns (a cigarette lighter that’s really a gun).

I'm telling you- it was super cool. You should check it out! It’s free (BUT leave a donation if you can! We need to preserve our history!) and if you are a South Carolinian you will enjoy the history lesson! It's on Bluff Road (kinda near the stadium).




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