The South Carolina quarter's reverse is an outline of the state complimented by an intriguing group of state symbols.
The South Carolina quarter, the eighth coin released under the 50 State Quarters Program™ shows key state symbols- a Palmetto Tree, the Carolina Wren and the Yellow Jessamine. An outline of South Carolina, the nickname "The Palmetto State" and a star indicating the capital, Columbia, form the quarter’s background.
The Carolina Wren, the state bird, and the Yellow Jessamine, the state flower, are native throughout South Carolina; the importance of the Palmetto Tree, the state tree, dates back to the Revolutionary War. In 1776, colonists in a small fort built of Palmetto logs successfully defeated a British fleet trying to capture Charleston Harbor. Since then, South Carolina has been called "The Palmetto State."
Beginning in 1998, the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (PRT) accepted quarter design suggestions. Contributions came from PRT’s offices, school children and the South Carolina Numismatic Society.
From these contributions, PRT compiled five semi-finalist design concepts. The Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee and the Fine Arts Commission narrowed these five semi-finalist design concepts down to three choices. Governor Jim Hodges then made his final decision, indicating that the Palmetto Tree represents South Carolina’s strength; the Carolina Wren’s song symbolizes the hospitality of the state’s people; and the Yellow Jessamine, a delicate golden bloom-a sign of coming spring-is part of South Carolina’s vast natural beauty.
Provided by the U.S. Mint