North Carolina Nickname

North Carolina State Nickname

The Tar Heel State


North Carolina’s state nickname is known as “The Tar Heel State.” There is a second lesser used nickname called, “Old North State.”

When Carolina was divided in 1710, the southern part was called South Carolina and the northern, or older settlement, North Carolina. From this came the nickname the “Old North State.” 

Historians have recorded that the principle products during the early history of North Carolina were “tar, pitch, and turpentine.” It was during one of the fiercest battles of the War Between the States, so the story goes, that the column supporting the North Carolina troops was
driven from the field. After the battle the North Carolinians, who had successfully fought it out alone, were greeted from the passing derelict regiment with the question: “Any more tar down in the Old North
State, boys?” Quick as a flash came the answer: “No, not a bit, old Jeff’s bought it all up.” “Is that so; what is he going to do with it?” was asked. “He’s going to put on you-un’s heels to make you stick better in the next fight.” Creecy relates that General Lee, upon hearing of the incident, said: “God bless the “Tar Heel” boys,” and from that they took the name.