MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Columbia is the state capital, the state flag is, well, the state flag, and the state tartan is…
Wait, that exists?
Yes, and it’s not the strangest state symbol South Carolina has on its official books.
Not all of them are obvious. There’s also a state hospitality beverage (sweet tea) and a state tapestry (titled “From the Mountains to the Sea”).
Here are 10 strange state symbols you probably didn’t know existed:
State Beverage – Milk
Move over, iced tea! This might seem like an odd one, but South Carolina’s dairy industry generates more than $100 million a year.
State Dance – Shag
South and North Carolina are going to have to fight over this one. Both have the shag – a type of swing dance created in the 1930s and set to beach music – as their state dance. However, South Carolina got to it first, naming it a state symbol in 1984, where North Carolina trailed behind, adopting it in 2005.
State Animal – White-tailed deer
Where did you come from, where did you go, why are you our state symbol, cotton-tailed doe?
The white-tailed deer has been a state symbol since 1972. It has “incredible beauty and power,” according to State Symbols USA, and is a triple threat – it can run up to 40 mph, jump nine feet in the air and even swim at 13 mph. The deer was also useful to early settlers and Native Americans, who used it for its skin and food.
State Snack – Boiled peanuts
The legislature must’ve gotten the munchies in 2006 when they designated boiled peanuts as the official state snack. The food has been around for more than 200 years, and can commonly be found at roadside stands, festivals and gas stations.
State Color – Indigo blue
South Carolina’s favorite hue is blue, or so it was decided in 2008. The tale behind this one is quite cute – a third grader asked her state senator to proclaim it the state color. The student argued that it represents the state because it was the color worn by General William Moultrie during the Revolutionary War, is the background color of the state flag and because indigo crops were important to South Carolina’s industrial development.
State Fossil – Columbian mammoth
Talk about a big discovery! The Columbian Mammoth became a state symbol in 2014. Fossilized mammoth teeth found in 1725 in a South Carolina swamp have been credited as the first scientific identification of a North American vertebrate fossil, according to the state legislature.
State Shell – Lettered olive
The shell was named by Edmund Ravenel, who chose the moniker because its pattern mimics hieroglyphics. The shell is smooth, shiny, cylindrical and can be found in shallow water along the shore.
State Dog – Boykin spaniel
South Carolina is proud of its good boys and girls. The Boykin spaniel was named the state dog in 1985. It was originally bred in South Carolina, and is known as a hunting dog with a great personality.
State Amphibian – Spotted salamander
A group of elementary school students were behind this one, as well. A third grade class at Woodland Hills Elementary School in Spartanburg campaigned in 1999 to make the critter a state symbol, arguing that the salamander is the only amphibian indigenous to the entire state. The amphibian has a stout body, two rows of yellow round spots and dark coloring.
State Sword – The Sword
Legend has it that whoever pulls it from its cradle in the Senate rostrum becomes the undisputed king of South Carolina.
Ok. So strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.
Or is it?