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List of North Carolina state symbols facts for kids

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The state of North Carolina has 42 official state emblems, as well as other designated places and events. The majority are determined by acts of the North Carolina General Assembly and record in Chapters 144, 145, and 149 of the North Carolina General Statutes. The state's nicknames – "The Old North State" and "The Tar Heel State" – are both traditional, but have never been passed into law by the General Assembly.

The first symbol was the Seal of North Carolina, which was made official in 1871. The original seal also contained the future state motto. It served as the state's only emblem for 14 years until the adoption of the state flag in 1885. Enacted by law in 2013, the newest symbols of North Carolina are the state art medium, clay; the state fossil, the Megalodon teeth; the state frog, the Pine Barrens tree frog; the state marsupial, the Virginia opossum; and the state salamander, the Marbled salamander.


Type Symbol Year Image Source
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 20, 1775,' and that below the star there shall be a similar scroll containing in black letters the inscription: 'April 12, 1776.'" 1885 North Carolina flag
Motto Esse quam videri
("To be, rather than to seem")
Nicknames Old North State
Tar Heel State
Seal The Seal of North Carolina 1871

(Revised in 1983)

North Carolina state seal


Type Symbol Year Image Source
Carnivorous plant Venus Flytrap
Dionaea muscipula
2005 Venus flytrap
Christmas tree Fraser Fir
Abies fraseri
2005 Fraser Fir
Flower Flowering Dogwood
Cornus Florida
1941 American Dogwood
Tree Pine
Genus Pinus
1963 Pine
Wildflower Carolina Lily
Lilium michauxii


Type Symbol Year Image Source
Bird Cardinal 1943 Northern Cardinal Female-27527.jpg
Butterfly Eastern tiger swallowtail 2012 Eastern tiger swallowtail
Dog Plott Hound 1989 Plott Hound
Fossil Megalodon teeth 2013
Carcharodon megalodon (Agassiz, 1837) - 13,5 cm
Freshwater trout Southern Appalachian brook trout 2005 brook trout
Frog Pine Barrens tree frog
Hyla andersonii
2013 Pine Barrens Tree Frog
Horse Colonial Spanish Mustang 2010 SpanishMustangsOfCorolla.jpg
Insect Western honey bee

(Apis mellifera)

1973 Western honey bee
Mammal Eastern Gray Squirrel
Sciurus carolinensis
1969 Eastern Gray Squirrel
Marsupial Virginia opossum
Didelphis virginiana
2013 Virginia opossum
Reptile Eastern Box Turtle 1979 Eastern Box Turtle
Salamander Marbled salamander
Ambystoma opacum
2013 Marbled salamander
Saltwater fish Channel Bass 1971 Prize Red Drum.jpg
Shell Scotch bonnet 1965 Scotch Bonnet


Type Symbol Year Image Source
Mineral Gold
2011 GoldNuggetUSGOV.jpg
Rock Granite 1979 Granite Yosemite P1160483.jpg
Stone Emerald 1973 Gachala Emerald 3526711557 849c4c7367.jpg


Type Symbol Year Image Source
Art medium Clay 2013
Beverage Milk 1987 Milk glass.jpg
Birthplace of traditional pottery Seagrove Area 2005
Blue berry Blueberry
Vaccinium genus
2001 PattsBlueberries.jpg
Colors The red and blue of the North Carolina and the United States 1945
Folk dance Clogging 2005 Clogging 01.jpg
Fruit Scuppernong grape
Vitis genus
2001 Muscadines.Scuppernongs.jpg
Historical boat Shad boat 1987
Language English language 1987
Popular dance Shagging 2005
Red berry Strawberry
Fragaria genus
2001 Strawberry444.jpg
Song "The Old North State" 1927
Sport Stock car racing 2011 Lowe's Motor Speedway.jpg
Toast The Tar Heel Toast 1957
Tartan Carolina Tartan 1991 NC tartan.jpg
Vegetable Sweet potato 1995 5aday sweet potato.jpg
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List of North Carolina state symbols Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.