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North Carolina State Symbols

Each state in the United States of America is unique. The people and legislature of North Carolina have selected the following state symbols to represent their state's individual environment and culture.

The North Carolina State Seal

[Image of The North Carolina State Seal]

The state seal of North Carolina has had many changes since its origin in 1663. During colonial times, North Carolina used four different seals successively. Since the war, for independence six different seals have been used (the state library has extensive details on these early versions).

North Carolina General Statute’s revision of 1971 describes the present seal design. Design shall be a representation of the figures of Liberty and Plenty, looking toward each other, but not more than half-fronting each other and otherwise disposed as follows Liberty, the first figure, standing, and her pole with cap on it in her left hand and a scroll with the word "Constitution" inscribed thereon in her right hand.

Plenty, the second figure, sitting down, her right arm half extended toward Liberty, three heads of grain in her right hand, and in her left, the small end of her horn, the mouth of which is resting at her feet, and the contents of the horn rolling out. The background on the seal shall contain a depiction of mountains running from left to right to the middle of the seal.

A side view of a three-misted ship shall be located on the ocean and to the right of plenty.

The date "May 20, 1775" shall appear within the seal and across the top of the seal and the works "esse quam videri" shall appear at the bottom around the perimeter.

No other words, figures or other embellishments shall appear on the seal.

Legislation added the date "April 12, 1776 in 1983 (date of the Halifax Resolves - also on the state flag of North Carolina) to serve as a constant reminder of the state’s commitment to liberty.

The Halifax Resolves " ... a document that places the Old North State in the very front rank, both in point of time and in spirit, among those that demanded unconditional freedom and absolute independence from any foreign power. This document stands out as one of the great landmarks in the annals of North Carolina history" - quote from North Carolina State Library

The 50 State Seals

The North Carolina State Flag

[Image of The North Carolina State Flag]

That the flag of North Carolina shall consist of a blue union, containing in the center thereof a white star with the letter N in gilt on the left and the letter C in gilt on the right of said star, the circle containing the same to be one-third the width of the union.

The fly of the flag shall consist of two equally proportioned bars the upper bar to be red, the lower bar to be white that the length of the bars horizontally shall be equal to the perpendicular length of the union, and the total length of the flag shall be one-third more than its width.

That above the star in the center of the union there shall be a gilt scroll in semi-circular form, containing in black letters this inscription "May 20th, 1775," and that below the star there shall be a similar scroll containing in black letters the inscription "April 12th, 1776."

The 50 State Flags

Other State Symbols

  • Beverage: Milk
  • Bird: Cardinal
  • Blue berry: Blueberry
  • Carnivorous Plant: Venus Flytrap
  • Colors: Red and Blue
  • Dog: Plott Hound
  • Flower: American Dogwood
  • Freshwater fish: Southern Appalachian Brook Trout
  • Fruit: Scuppernong Grape
  • Gemstone: Emerald
  • Horse: Colonial Spanish Mustang
  • Insect: Honey Bee
  • Mammal: Eastern Gray Squirrel
  • Mineral: Gold
  • Motto: Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather Than To Seem)
  • Rock: Granite
  • Salt water fish: Channel Bass
  • Reptile: Eastern Box Turtle
  • Red berry: Strawberry
  • Song: The Old North State
  • Toast: The Tar Heel Toast
  • Tree: Pine
  • Vegetable: Sweet Potato
  • Wildflower: Carolina Lily
  • Nicknames: Old North State, Tar Heel State, Turpentine State

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