There is an unsubstantiated reference to a North Carolina flag of the Revolutionary War era (1775-83). It supposedly was white with a hornet's nest and the inscription "May 20, 1775," the date on which citizens in the town of Mecklenburg supposedly proclaimed their independence from Great Britain.
Prior to the Civil War (1861-65) militia troops from North Carolina carried blue flags with the state seal. When the first official North Carolina flag was adopted on June 22, 1861, however, its colors and stripes were based on the Stars and Bars, and it displayed the date of North Carolina's secession from the Union (May 20, 1861). Various Confederate regimental flags were subsequently based on that design. The present North Carolina flag, established on March 9, 1885, is similar to its Civil War-era predecessor; it was designed by General Johnstone Jones, who served in the Confederate army. On one of the ribbons in the current flag is emblazoned "May 20th, 1775." The other ribbon has the inscription "April 12th, 1776," referring to the Halifax Resolves, wherein the Provincial Congress authorized North Carolina delegates to approve the Declaration of Independence of the United States.
Official name: State of North Carolina.
State nickname: the Tar Heel State.
Total area: 52,672 sq mi, 136,421 sq km.
Population (2000): 8,049,313.
Population by race, origin (1997): white non-Hispanic 73.6%; white Hispanic 1.7%; black (including Hispanic) 22.1%; American Indian/Eskimo/Aleut 1.3%; Asian/Pacific Islander 1.2%.
Natural increase rate per 1,000 population (1995): 5.1 (U.S. avg. 6.0).
Gross domestic (state) product (1996): U.S.$204,200,000,000 (U.S.$27,940 per capita).
Land use (1992): federal land 7.9%; non-federal land 92.1%, of which forest 51.7%, cropland 19.3%, pasture 6.5%, rangeland 0.0%, urban and built-up areas 11.5%, other 3.1%.
Exports by state (1997): U.S.$16,402,000,000; percent of national total 2.66%.