The 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade traces its origins to 1903 when it was established as an Infantry Company in what would become the South Carolina National Guard. Although organized in a town now called West Columbia in the center of the state, its Distinctive Unit Insignia, or unit crest, evokes memories of a seminal event in the state’s history that took place near the port city of Charleston: The Battle of Sullivan’s Island.

Fought on 28 June 1776, the battle pitted a British naval force of nine ships with some 300 guns under the command of Commodore Peter Parker against the fortifications and garrison on Sullivan’s Island near Charleston, South Carolina, led by Colonel William Moultrie. Though the armada raked the fort with cannon fire for hours, the fort’s palmetto walls proved resilient, bending under the impact rather than breaking.

At the height of the fighting, flag flying over the fort—a crescent moon inscribed with the word “Liberty”—was shot down, at which point a Sergeant ran and picked it up, attached it to part of a palmetto tree, and began to wave it as a means of rallying the defenders until a new standard was erected. The 218th’s seal features the crescent moon and the palmetto tree, which also went on to become the state tree of South Carolina, and the motto “Steadfast of Purpose.”

Customers purchasing the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s unit crest, officially called a Distinctive Unit Insignia, may also wish to visit our pages devoted to the Brigade’s CSIB (Combat Service Identification Badge) and Shoulder Sleeve Insignia, or unit patch.

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