Why Is North Carolina Called Tar Heels?

It’s an interesting question many people have asked, why exactly is the state of North Carolina nicknamed “The Tar Heels”? To answer this, we must delved deep into the history and culture of North Carolina to uncover the truth behind this mysterious nickname.

As it turns out, the history of why North Carolina is called the Tar Heels is filled with colorful characters and deeply rooted traditions in the state’s history. From the political and economic factors that influenced its people to more recent events that keep the legacy alive, let’s take an in-depth look at why the Tar Heel moniker has endured the test of time.

Why is North Carolina Called Tar Heels?

North Carolina has been called the Tar Heels for more than a century. The moniker dates back to the Revolutionary War and has since been adopted by the state and its athletic teams as a sign of pride.

But why exactly is North Carolina known as the Tar Heels?

A History Behind the Name

The term “Tar Heels” first appeared during the Revolutionary War, when British General Cornwallis referred to the North Carolinian troops as such.

The term was used to describe their reluctance to leave the area during the battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge. The Tar Heels are said to have resisted the British for so long that the British began to call them “Tar Heels”.

Becoming an Official Nickname

The moniker was not embraced as a state nickname until after the Civil War, when it began to be used in publications as a way of honoring North Carolinians who fought in the war. Soon after, the nickname gained more popularity when it was adopted by the University of North Carolina athletic teams.

The Significance of the Mascot

The mascot, “Rameses,” was created by student Bill Guthridge in 192

He modeled it after a ram statue on the university’s campus. The mascot symbolizes strength, courage, and wit, all qualities that have come to represent North Carolinians as a whole.


The nickname “Tar Heels” is an integral part of North Carolina’s culture and has become synonymous with the state’s spirit and identity for more than a century. It is a visible reminder of the brave and tenacious North Carolinian troops who fought in the Revolutionary War and of the generations of North Carolinians who have embraced their Tar Heel heritage. Citations:https://www.

usnews. com/news/best-states/north-carolina/articles/2018-12-19/why-is-north-carolina-called-the-tar-heelshttps://freebirdstories. com/north-carolina-tar-heels/https://www. goheels. com/ViewArticle. dbml?DB_OEM_ID=3350&ATCLID=211431992

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