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North Carolina Cultural Symbols

North Carolina has about 18 official cultural symbols. The best symbols (in my opinion) are explored in symbols of the arts, while the worst are hung out to dry on political symbols.

Cultural Symbols  
Colors red and blue 1945
Boat shad boat 1987
Sport stock car racing 2011
Toast A Toast to North Carolina 1957
Tartan Carolina Tartan 1991
Cookie Moravian cookie 2023
Beverage milk Redundant Symbol 1987
Art Medium clay 2013
Pottery Birthplace Seagrove Area 2005
Folk Art Whirligigs by Vollis Simpson 2013
Star Moravian star 2023
Folk Dance clogging 2005
Popular Dance shag 2005
Theater Thalian Association 1975
Language English Redundant Symbol 1987
Veterans Day Parade Veterans Day Parade held in the Town of Warsaw 2016
Military Academy Oak Ridge Military Academy, Oak Ridge 1991
Flag Salute 2007
North Carolina Cultural SymbolsLeft to right: Stock car racing, milk, Moravian cookie, and shad boat.

North Carolina’s remaining symbols are rather bland. My favorite is the official boat, the shad boat, a small sailing vessel first built in the early 19th century.

The Moravian cookie is very thinly sliced and imbued with spices that help with preservation. It is the foundation of a multi-million-dollar business, with North Carolina bakeries shipping them all over the world. The queen of Moravian cookies was Evva Foltz Hanes, founder of Moravian Sugar Crisp Co., who died on June 22, 2023 at the age of 90.

The official sport is stock car racing. What a great way to fight climate change, huh?

North Carolina is one of several states with a mystery tartan. The Carolina tartan represents North and South Carolina both. But is it really the state tartan?

There are allegations of fraud. Maybe North Carolina’s state tartan was designed by the Wright Brothers. Who knows?

You can see a picture of the Carolina Tartan at

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