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Fun Facts About North Carolina

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NORTH CAROLINA QUICK FACTS

ORIGIN OF NORTH CAROLINA’S NAME
North Carolina is named in honor of King Charles I of England. Carolina is derived from “Carolus”, Latin for Charles.

THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE NICKNAME IS “THE TAR HEEL STATE”
The exact etymology of the nickname is unknown, but most experts believe its roots come from the fact that tar, pitch and turpentine created from the vast pine forests were one of North Carolina’s most important exports early in the state’s history.

Because the exact history of the term is unknown, many legends have developed to explain it. Many believe it to be a nickname given during the U.S. Civil War, because of the state’s importance on the Confederate side, and the fact that the troops “stuck to their ranks like they had tar on their heels”.

The term “Tar Heel” gained popularity during the Civil War.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE MOTTO IS ESSE QUAM VIDERI
The motto phrase is Latin for “To Be Rather Than To Seem”. It is unusual that, until the act of 1893, the state of North Carolina had no motto since its declaration of independence. It was one of the few states that did not have a motto, and the only one of the original thirteen without one.

The state motto had also been adopted as a temporary motto by the Virginia class submarine USS North Carolina until being replaced by primus in proelio, which means First in Fight, a play-on-words for First in Flight.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE FLOWER
The Dogwood

NORTH CAROLINA STATE BIRD
The Cardinal

THE STATE SONG IS THE OLD NORTH STATE.
The song known as was adopted as the official song of the State of North Carolina by the General Assembly of 1927. It was written by William Gaston.

“Carolina! Carolina! Heaven’s blessings attend her!
While we live we will cherish, protect and defend her;
Though the scorner may sneer at and witlings defame her,
Our hearts swell with gladness whenever we name her.
Hurrah! Hurrah! The Old North State forever!
Hurrah! Hurrah! The good Old North State!

Though she envies not others their merited glory,
Say, whose name stands the foremost in Liberty’s story!
Though too true to herself e’er to crouch to oppression,
Who can yield to just rule more loyal submission?

Plain and artless her sons, but whose doors open faster
At the knock of a stranger, or the tale of disaster?
How like to the rudeness of their dear native mountains,
With rich ore in their bosoms and life in their fountains.

And her daughters, the Queen of the Forest resembling–
So graceful, so constant, yet to gentlest breath trembling;
And true lightwood at heart, let the match be applied them,
How they kindle and flame! Oh! none know but who’ve tried them.

Then let all who love us, love the land that we live in
(As happy a region on this side of Heaven),
Where Plenty and Freedom, Love and Peace smile before us,
Raise aloud, raise together, the heart-thrilling chorus!”

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