According to Joan Perry’s blog, the red dot sign is believed to have its origin in the South Carolina Constitution of 1895, which prohibited alcohol sales between sundown and sun-up. The red ball designates the sun and identifies the store as one that sells alcohol.  “The State ” newspaper in Columbia, SC, dated October 3, 1984, gave the following theory:
“In the 1940s, the state was forcing liquor stores to shrink their signs dramatically, so as not to advertise alcohol too blatantly. Stores were allowed to use lettering only a few inches high on doors or windows. A Charleston liquor store ‘highlighted’ the tiny lettering with a dramatic red dot, and everyone else followed suit.”

Please visit my Red Dot Stores gallery to see a rich variety of red dot stores in South Carolina.