This article first appeared in The Moultrie News April 23, 2019

The Order of the Palmetto is considered the highest civilian honor in South Carolina. Recently, Mount Pleasant resident Michael Allen was awarded the state’s lifetime achievement for his civic trailblazing efforts and progressiveness in the African American community.

Over the past 50 years, dating back to its origin in 1971, more than 3,500 citizens have received the Order of the Palmetto. Allen’s name is now inscribed on that list along with other notable individuals such as singer James Brown, author Pat Conroy, tap dancer Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates, General William Westmoreland, Civil Rights activist Septima Clark and the “Unknown Confederate Soldier.”

In February, U.S. House Majority Whip Congressman James Clyburn wrote a letter of nomination on Allen’s behalf to Gov. Henry McMaster. Allen is the most recent East Cooper recipient, following former Isle of Palms City Administrator Linda Tucker who received the honor in November 2018.