Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- There's been some discussion in the State House about the state flag. If you look across the state, the Palmetto tree and crescent on the flags come in different shapes and sizes.
According to Scott Malyerck, a political consultant, there are four flags that are most common around the state. But he wants the same design on all flags at state government offices.
The state flag includes two symbols: a palmetto tree and a crescent. The palmetto tree is on the flag because it's considered the state tree, but what about the crescent?
News 19 has heard from viewers, calling it a moon or a gorget, which was part of military uniforms, so we wanted to find out exactly what that symbol is.
Col. William Moultrie was asked to design the state's first flag in 1775 to let the city of Charleston know if the British were coming during the Battle of Sullivan's Island, which took place before the Revolutionary War.
"He was influenced by the men of the Second South Carolina Regiment. Their blue, indigo uniforms and the crescent emblem on their caps," said Heather McPherson with the South Carolina Military Museum.
In Moultrie's memoir, he wrote, "I had a large blue flag made with a cresent in the dexter corner, to be in uniform with the troops."
But people have different theories about what that crescent is, including the gorget.
"We aren't sure how it came to be thought of as a gorget. There's no memoirs or letters from that period that refers to it as a gorget. The idea of a gorget will not die," said Eric Emerson, the director of the state's Department of Archives and History.
So that leads us to our question: what is that crescent-shaped symbol on the state flag?
"It's a crescent. That's what we call it here, and again, Col. Moultrie being inspired by his men," said McPherson.
"For Moultrie's purposes, it's actually just a symbol," said Emerson.
News 19 can verify that it is not a moon or a gorget, but simply a crescent, or half circle.