THE South Carolina STATE SEAL
Left side: The palmetto tree springs from a fallen oak tree, which represents the British ships that South Carolina patriots defeated at Sullivan's Island in 1776. The shields on the palmetto trunk give the dates of the Declaration of Independence (4 July 1776) and the date that South Carolina adopted its first state constitution (26 March 1776). The motto on the banner means "who shall separate?" The words under the tree trunk translate to "Having fallen it has set up a better." ANIMIS OPIBUSQUE PARATI means "Prepared in mind and resources."
Right side: The woman represents hope overcoming danger, and the laurel branch in her hand symbolizes the victory at Sullivan's Island. SPES means hope. DUM SPIRO SPERO means "While I breathe, I hope". DUM SPIRO SPERO and ANIMIS OPIBUSQUE PARATI are the state mottoes.
If you have questions about the history of South Carolina or wish to do historical research, please visit the South Carolina Archives