North Carolina State Symbols and Official Adoptions

The North Carolina General Assembly adopted its first state symbol in 1885 with legislation recognizing the official State Flag. Since that time, the Legislature has adopted more symbols, from the State Dog to the State Marsupial to the State Beverage and the State Vegetable.  Some symbols are emblems or iconic representations of the state's history and culture, such as the flag or the Great Seal.  Others represent the state's unique natural heritage, such as the Cardinal and the Venus Fly Trap, or elements, like the sweet potato, that have been vital to sustaining the people or the economy.


State Symbols and other Official Adoptions are created from legislation enacted by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor. The adoption of each state symbol is associated with a particular piece of legislation enumerated in the North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 145: State Symbols and Other Official Adoptions. Scroll down this page to access a list of the state's official adoptions (with links to NCpedia articles).


During the 2015-2016 legislative session two bills were introduced to designate official adoptions: for new official adotion. On January 26, 2015, a bill was introduced for the adoption of the Old Fort Gold Festival, in McDowell County, as the official Gold Festival of North Carolina.  The festival has been celebrated during the first weekend in June since 2003. And on March 4, 2015, a bill was introduced to name the Bobcat as the official State Cat. Fourth-graders at Benvenue Elementary School in Nash County wrote to their state legislator to recommend that the General Assembly adopt an official state cat to complement the state dog, the Plott Hound.  The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Bobbie Richardson, a Nash County Democrat. The General Assembly concluded the legislative session in 2015 without taking up either legislation for ratification.


During the 2016 session, the General Assembly voted to adopt the Town of Warsaw (Duplin County) Veterans Day Parade as the State Veterans Day Parade (S.B. 160). The bill was signed into law by the Governor of North Carolina on June 24, 2016.


State Symbols Timeline   Symbol of the Month  

North Carolina's State Symbols and Other Official Adoptions: Articles on State Symbols in NCpedia

Click on the blue text to access individual articles

Art Medium

Aviation Museums

Aviation Hall of Fame

Berries - The Red Berry and The Blue Berry





Carnivorous Plant

Christmas Tree


Dance, Folk

Dance, Popular


Festival, Blue Monday Shad Fry

Festival, Collard

Festival, Food

Festival, Herring

Festival, International

Festival, Livermush - Fall and Spring

Festival, Mullet

Festival, Peanut

Festival, Potato

Festival, Shad

Festival, Shrimp

Festival, Watermelon - Northeastern NC, Southeastern NC


Folk Art


Fly Fishing Museum (Fly Fishing Museum of the Souther Appalachians) adopted June 2018, 2017 Legislative Session; article forthcoming)


Freshwater Trout



Honor and Remember Flag






Military Academy



Outdoor Festival (North Carolina Outdoor Festival, adopted June 2018, 2017 Legislative Session, article forthcoming)

Pottery birthplace




Salt Water Fish

Salute, Flag





Stone, Precious


Theatre, Professional

Theatre, Community




Veterans Day Parade, Town of Warsaw


North Carolina Legislation Authorizing State Symbols and Other Official Adoptions

NCpedia article listing state symbols and corresponding N.C. General Statutes (with links to statutes)


User Tags: 



We do not have a North Carolina state symbol at this time that is our official state amusement park. However, NCpedia does have an article about the history of amusement parks in North Carolina at If you are looking for information about different amusement parks in North Carolina to visit, there is information about them on the Visit NC website at 


Michelle Underhill, Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina


can we have football as our state sport?


Stock car racing became North Carolina's official state sport in 2011. To propose a state symbol, you may write to your state legislators. You may find out who represents you in the state legislature at 


Michelle Underhill, Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina


I need more info


Hi Ee,

Let us know what type of information you need and we'll try to help.

If you click on the blue text for each item in the state symbols list, you'll go to the NCpedia on that topic. 

I hope this helps!

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library


I am visiting Robinnisville NC. I have seen these colorful geometric signs on a lot of buildings. I think they are all different. What are they? What do they mean?
Thank you,


Hi Cynthia,

Thanks for visiting NCpedia and taking time to post your question.

It sounds like you have seen the barn quilts on the Graham County Quilt Trail.  

You'll find some information on the website for the Graham County quilt trail --  And here is another for the website for the Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina --

If this is not what you've seen, please feel free to post back here and we'll try again!

Best wishes,

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library




were is ask nc knows box at cause i need to know something and that is dumb


Hi Willow,

The "Ask NCknows" box will show up when Librarians at Ask NCknows are online and you'll see it in the upper right part of the NCpedia screen below the red menu.  If you don't see the chat box, you'll see an envelope to email us at NCpedia to ask your question.  It looks like this:


You can also go directly to NCknows at their website

I hope this helps!

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library

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