That’s no moon, and it’s not a space station either

Star Wars

In the movie “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” Obi-Wan Kenobi is quoted as saying, “That’s no moon. It’s a space station.” He was correcting Luke Skywalker, who saw a small sphere in the distance in space and assumed it was a moon.

I refer to this moment in the movie to make a point. In real life some people are prone to make assumptions without really knowing what they are looking at. This can lead to misinformation especially when it comes to American history.

The item in question is the white object at the top left hand corner of the South Carolina state flag. People mistakenly refer to this as a crescent moon.

South Carolina State Flag

A Little History
In 1775 Colonel William Moultrie was asked by the Revolutionary Council of Safety to design a flag for the South Carolina troops to be use during the American Revolutionary War. Moultrie’s design had the blue of the militia’s uniforms and a crescent-shaped gorget from the emblem on their caps. The palmetto tree was added later in 1861 to honor Moultrie’s heroic defense of the palmetto log fort on Sullivan’s Island against the attack of the British fleet on June 28, 1776.

Personally I can see how people can get confused. A flag with a dark blue background, a white palmetto tree in the center and gorget that looks like it could be a crescent moon in the night sky.

Although it’s been a matter of controversy for some on whether or not the object is a gorget or moon, the Fort Moultrie National Monument in South Carolina insists the crescent is a gorget.

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A winter solstice, lunar eclipse

On December 21, 2010 around two in the morning I was lucky to witness an awe-inspiring sight, a lunar eclipse during the winter solstice.

I’ve seen partial eclipses before but not a full one. So I was even more surprised when the moon turned red and the sky eerily dark.

I was alone in front of my house with my camera and a tripod. The neighborhood started to grow darker as the moon was slowly eaten by the night sky. The temperature was cold but bearable. Living in the Charleston area of South Carolina has its advantages.

Placing my Kodak camera and tripod in the middle of the road I focused in on the moon. I set the timer and over the next 40 minutes I took some very cool photos.

A lunar eclipse during the winter solstice - photo by Chris Hall

A lunar eclipse during the winter solstice - photo by Chris Hall

A lunar eclipse during the winter solstice - photo by Chris Hall

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