Residents of The Cliffs Communities and The Reserve at Lake Keowee enjoy so many things that upstate South Carolina has to offer. They will tell you that The Palmetto State is a great place to visit and to live. But what about this nickname, The Palmetto State? Our state’s nickname is from the sabal palmetto tree. Not many of those are seen around Lake Keowee yet this is the state tree with a proud history. The Palmetto tree is on the flag and the state seal for South Carolina plus has mention in the salute to the flag! The highest civilian honor awarded by the governor of South Carolina is called The Order of the Palmetto as well.
What makes this tree so special? When fighting for independence, the palmetto trees actually helped the South Carolina militia. Much of the triumph of the battle at Fort Moultrie on June 28th of 1776 is attributed to these trees as they had the ability to absorb and therefore negate the force of the British cannonballs. The palmetto tree then became a symbol of liberty in the state. Included on the state seal in 1777 and then to the state flag in 1860.
Although not a common site in the Lake Keowee area, the nickname and state tree is one rich in history and liberty.