In the shade of the palmetto logo

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I became a true South Carolinian in the pillow section of the Harbison Bed, Bath and Beyond. As a Florida transplant of six years, I still don’t drink sweet tea — but I bought a palmetto tree pillow. I’m officially in, ya’ll.

There is no doubt that South Carolinians love their palmetto tree imagery. A Google business search pulls up 443 businesses with the name “Palmetto” in the Columbia area alone! And a short drive along Highway 378 shows that they’ve all capitalized on this Southern convention with creative logo depictions. For an object that essentially consists of a trunk and fronds, the variations are impressive! You’ve got your stylized Palmetto Health stalk, your backlit S.C. Education lottery Warhol and your realistic Palmetto Custom Construction bloomer amid countless other fat trees, skinny trees, partial trees and artistic trees.

The things is, it works. And I’d like to thank the aesthetic gurus at ConstantNow for teaching me not to fear the palmetto during a recent logo redesign project. The final product is modern, streamlined and strong, and its individuality is a testament to the creative minds in S.C.!

Let’s just hope extraterrestrials never pay a visit to our fair state because they will certainly expect our leader to look like a palmetto tree (Gov. Sanford, anyone?).

Brainstorming while nestled against my new pillow, I’ve tried to find a reason for the marketing permeation of the palmetto. Please add a post if you have a good explanation for its resonance! I’ve tried to splice together theories of rebellion and conformity “a way of banding together while branding together! And it is only fitting that the material used to protect us during not one but two revolutionary wars is now helping promote the independence of S.C.’s small businessmen! Or maybe the palmetto’s innate elegance has allowed it to creep past the kudzu into our notions of Southern charm and hospitality. Maybe it’s a haven of shade for our summer-baked minds. But if you don’t get it, you’re obviously not one of us.

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