57 Interesting Facts About North Carolina

Last updated on October 1st, 2022

41. Mugs are in plenty

The House of Mugs in Collettesville sounds like a gift shop, but it is an eclectic collection of thousands of mugs that cover a cabin and other structures on a property. The owners invite visitors to add to the collection by bringing and hanging a mug if they can find an empty spot.

42. A water spitting head

David Černý’s Metalmorphosis in Charlotte is a giant polished steel kinetic water-spitting, head-shaped fountain at the Whitehall Corporate Center. The colossal, eye-catching piece weighs 14 tons and features mirrored, stacked layers that rotate 360 degrees with all layers coming together to reform the shape of a head during rotations.

The Frying Pan Tower, North Carolina. Interesting facts about North Carolina
The Frying Pan Tower, North Carolina. Image credit – John Flannery

43. A lighthouse by the name of Frying Pan Tower

Frying Pan Tower in Southport was built 32 miles off North Carolina’s Coast in 1964 as a lighthouse to prevent ships from running aground in the shallow waters of Frying Pan Shoals. Previously operated by the Coast Guard, the tower is now a non-profit project used for education, recreation, and research.

44. Clean and green

Cary has made it easy for residents to ride their bikes or walk around town. With 200 miles of green way and biking paths, residents can bike or walk to work, school, parks, and other destinations, contributing to cleaner air and a sustainable community.

Kitty Hawk Monument to a Century of Flight. North Carolina facts
Kitty Hawk Monument to a Century of Flight. Interesting facts about North Carolina. Image credit – Outer Banks

45. A tribute to the first flight

The Monument to a Century of Flight in Kitty Hawk consists of 14 wing-shaped, stainless steel pylons that start at 10 feet tall and ascend to 20 feet and set in a circle measuring 120 feet. The 120-foot circle is symbolic of the distance of the first flight by brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright. Visitors can read the panels on the pylons to learn about events that have impacted aviation.

46. Collection of Wesleyan Staffordshire Pottery

The World Methodist Museum at Lake Junaluska was built in 1956 chronicles Methodist history. Visitors will find numerous artifacts, including rare books, manuscripts, poetry, replicas, and the most extensive collection of Wesleyan Staffordshire Pottery in the world.

47. The Road to Nowhere, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Road to Nowhere is an actual road just outside Bryson City. It is 8 miles long, leading to a 1,200-foot walkthrough tunnel that has never been completed. It was meant to give the displaced community that had been displaced as a result of the construction of the Fontana Lake and Dam in 1941. The road, unfortunately, was unfinished. The road, to this day, is only 7 miles long.

48. Twin Poplars, Lenoir, North Carolina

The Twin Poplars are two poplar trees that appear to grow together. The trees are separated at the base but their trunks appear to grow as one. According to legend, two warring factions of Native Americans, the Cherokee and the Catawba, decided to make peace and tied two trees together so they will not grow apart. The Twin Poplars stand firm to this day.

Blimp Garage - Weeksville Dirigible Hangar
Lighter Than Air – Looking like giant Super Mario World Ghost characters or giant Gold Fish crackers (only white), these blimps or more exactly Aerostats were docked at Weeksville NC, Dirigible Hangar. Image credit – Bill Dickinson

49. Weeksville Airship Hangar

The silver-toned Weeksville Airship Hangar was built in WWII for the manufacture, storage, and maintenance of blimps owned by the U.S. Navy. These airships were filled with helium and were deployed to observe the waters for incoming enemy ships. The hangar could house about 12 blimps that were at least 250 feet long.

50. Hoggatt House High Point, North Carolina

The Hoggatt House is the oldest standing structure in High Point, having been built in 1754 by Philip Hoggatt. The colonial cabin was later moved to the property of the High Point Museum during the 1990s and is now a popular place for tourists and locals to visit. Actors on site reenact life during the 1750s for visitors.

51. American Idol finalists

North Carolina also has the interesting statistic of having more American Idol finalists than any other state.

52. Laurinburg-Maxton Aircraft Boneyard, Maxton, North Carolina

This aircraft boneyard is the resting place of retired DC-10s, 747s, and 727s, all of which are planes flown by Northwest Airlines. Plane parts are now being sold for scraps.

One of the many homeless Jesus sculpture, for facts about North Carolina
One of the many homeless Jesus sculpture. Image credit – William Murphy

53. Homeless Jesus, Davidson, North Carolina

This statue is a depiction of Jesus as a homeless man lying on a bench in the park at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. The bronze sculpture shows Jesus covered by a blanket with only his feet showing, with his crucifixion wounds visible. The statue is in the middle of a well-to-do community.

54. The Can Opener, Durham, North Carolina

The Can Opener is a railroad trestle that was so-named because it was too low for big rigs, standing at just 12 feet and 4 inches high. If any careless driver dares to cross, let’s just say that the can opener will do its job of decapitating the topmost portion of the vehicle.

Old Salem tea pot, facts about North Carolina
Established by a group of Moravian settlers in the 18th century, the village of Old Salem is renowned for its well-preserved German Style architecture alongside a nostalgic charm. Image credit – Explanders.com

55. Old Salem Coffee Pot, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Old Coffee Pot is a 7-foot coffee pot made of tin. It was built by Julius and Samuel Mickey in 1858, two Moravian brothers who worked as tinsmiths.

56. The first state to declare independence

If that seems like a small detail to stake the state’s pride on, consider that North Carolina is the first state to declare independence from Great Britain in 1775 with the Mecklenburg Declaration.

57. Famous craft beer

One of the towns, Asheville, is famous for its craft beer tradition. People come from miles around to taste different craft beer at its markets. It has a lot of breweries because of the local interest, more than any other town in the USA.

About the Flag of North Carolina

Flag of North Carolina
Flag of North Carolina. 

1. Design and Symbolism

The flag of North Carolina highlights the state’s leadership in the American independence movement. It has three sections: blue on the left, red at the top, and white at the bottom.

On the blue band are the initials of the state separated by a white star. It is roughly the same height as the letters “N” and “C.”

Above this is a gold scroll with “MAY 20TH, 1775.” It is the date of the Mecklenburg Declaration, considered by some to be the first recorded declaration of independence within the 13 Colonies. It came out of Charlotte, North Carolina, from a committee of citizens in Mecklenburg County.

Meanwhile, under the star is another scroll with “APRIL 12TH, 1776” – the date of the Halifax Resolves. It empowered the state delegates to vote in favor of independence in the Second Continental Congress. The resolution paved the way for the US Declaration of Independence three months later.

2. Adoption

On March 9, 1885, North Carolina adopted a state flag with the design of Johnston Jones. It was last modified in 1991.

3. Technical Details

The flag uses a proportion of 2:3. The upper and lower bars are of equal size. The length of the horizontal bars is the same as the dimension of the vertical blue bar.

4. History

North Carolina was the twelfth state admitted to the Union on November 21, 1789. Locals probably made several flags during the Revolution, but no records survived. None of them gained official recognition.

The First Flag

In 1861, the state held a constitutional convention to choose its side in the Civil war. The delegates voted to join the Confederacy. John D. Whitford of Craven County proposed a state flag with a blue field, a star, and a white “V” surrounded by the words “Surgit Astrum, May 20, 1775.”

The convention established a flag committee, but members chose a different design: red on the left, blue at the top, and white at the bottom. Within the red bar, a large white star appears at the center. Above it is the date of the Mecklenburg Declaration, while under it is the date of secession from the Union.

The Second Flag

In 1885, Adjutant General Johnston Jones introduced a bill for a new flag. The design switched the colors around such that the left is now blue and the top is red. The state initials “N” and “C” flank a white star, while the top and bottom show historical dates for the independence movement.

The 1991 Modification

In 1991, the North Carolina senate changed the proportions of the colored bars in the state flag. Instead of 3:4, it is now 2:3.

5. Flag Facts

The flag of North Carolina has an official salute. The bill adopted by the General Assembly calls for residents to pledge their love, loyalty, and faith to the Old North.

The Mecklenburg Declaration enhanced North Carolina’s status in US history, although skeptics doubt its authenticity. Aside from placing its date on the flag, the state also celebrates its anniversary.

The state also remembers Halifax Day every year. People dress up in period costumes while offering guided tours of colonial buildings in the Halifax Historic District.

North Carolina – quick facts and state symbols

State AbbreviationNC
State CapitalRaleigh
List Of 50 U.S. States And Their Capital
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 53,819 sq miles; Land Only: 48,711 sq miles
Population
10,551,162
(Estimate July 1, 2021 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodNovember 21, 1789
State rank by population9th
State rank by date of formation12th
State rank by area28th
Number of Counties100
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
DemonymNorth Carolinian (official);
Tar Heel (colloquial)
Bordering StatesGeorgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
Official LanguageEnglish
Highest PointMount Mitchell
6,684 ft (2037 m)
Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean
Sea level
Mean elevation700 feet above sea level
Length 560 miles (901 km)
Width170 miles (261 km)
National ParksGreat Smoky Mountains National Park
GovernorRoy Cooper (D)
Lieutenant GovernorMark Robinson (R)
Electoral Votes15
State MottoEsse quam videri (To be, rather than to seem)
State NicknameTar Heel State
% Water9.5
Nobel Prize WinnersKary B. Mullis (Chemistry, 1993)
Daniel L. McFadden (Economic Sciences, 2000)
Famous PeopleChris Hanburger (Pro Football Player)
Gaylord Perry (Baseball Player)
James Worthy (Basketball Player)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Actress & Singer)
Julianne Moore (Actress)
Tori Amos (singer-songwriter)
U.S. Presidents Born in North Carolina1. James Knox Polk.
2. Andrew Johnson.
State Song"The Old North State"
State WildflowerCarolina lily

State BoatShad Boat

State BerryBlueberry and strawberry
State BirdCardinal
State FlowerDogwood
State ReptileEastern box turtle
State Carnivorous PlantVenus flytrap
State Dog
Plott hound
State InsectHoneybee
State Christmas TreeFraser fir
State TreePine
FossilMegalodon teeth
State FruitGrape
State MineralGold
State HorseColonial Spanish mustang
State MammalGray squirrel
State VegetableSweet potato
State RockGranite
State Butterfly Eastern tiger swallowtail
Longitude75° 28′ W to 84° 19′ W
Latitude33° 50′ N to 36° 35′ N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone
Websitewww.nc.gov
Area Codes252, 336, 704, 828, 910, 919, 980, 984
2022 Holiday ScheduleNew Year’s Day, December 31, 2021, Friday;

Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday
January 17, 2022, Monday;

Good Friday, April 15, 2022, Friday;

Memorial Day, May 30, 2022, Monday;

Independence Day, July 4, 2022, Monday;

Labor Day, September 5, 2022, Monday;

Veterans Day, November 11, 2022, Friday;

Thanksgiving, November 24 & 25, 2022, Thursday & Friday;

Christmas, December 23, 26 & 27, 2022, Friday, Monday & Tuesday.
Table Last UpdatedDecember 9, 2022