That the flag of North Carolina shall consist of a blue union, containing in the center thereof a white star with the letter N in gilt on the left and the letter C in gilt on the right of said star, the circle containing the same to be one-third the width of the union. The fly of the flag shall consist of two equally proportioned bars; the upper bar to be red, the lower bar to be white; that the length of the bars horizontally shall be equal to the perpendicular length of the union, and the total length of the flag shall be one-third more than its width. That above the star in the center of the union there shall be a gilt scroll in semi-circular form, containing in black letters this inscription "May 20th, 1775," and that below the star there shall be a similar scroll containing in black letters the inscription: "April 12th, 1776".
A former Confederate soldier and then state Adjutant General, Johnstone Jones, introduced the bill which led the state legislature to adopt this flag in March, 1885 to replace the flag that had been adopted on June 22, 1861, immediately following the state's secession from the Union on May 20, 1861. The red field of the old flag was replaced by blue in memory of the Bonnie Blue Flag which was used as a symbol of secession during the war.