Flag of North Carolina
|Use||Civil and state flag|
|Design||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.|
|Designed by||Johnston Jones|
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".
It bears the dates of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (May 20, 1775) and of the Halifax Resolves (April 12, 1776), documents that place North Carolina at the forefront of the American independence movement. Both dates also appear on the Seal of North Carolina.
As Province of North Carolina, the flag was the British Red Ensign, incorporating the Scottish St. Andrew’s Cross with a blue field with St. George’s Cross. Lord Tryon, the provincial governor, carried two of these flags at the Battle of Alamance during the War of the Regulation. During the American Revolution there may have been state flags but their history is lost.
North Carolina did not have an official state flag until the North Carolina state constitutional convention of 1861. During this convention, delegates voted to join the Confederacy. They established a committee to come up with a flag. This flag was ratified by the convention on June 22, 1861. The flag consisted of a red field with a white star in the center. Inscribed above the star was the date May 20, 1775, the controversial date of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Inscribed below the star in a semi-circular form was the date May 20, 1861, which was the date North Carolina seceeded from the Union. The flag also contain two bars of equal width, one in blue and one in red. The design is similar to one suggested by Raleigh artist William G. Browne. 
During the American Civil War, secessionist leaders spoke of the Mecklenburg Declaration with reverence, attempting to connect it with the state's joining the Confederacy. Confederate leader Jefferson Davis spoke to a Charlotte crowd in September 1864 saying "people of this section were the first to defy British authority and declare themselves free" encouraging them to continue backing the Confederacy's civil war effort against the U.S.
A former Confederate soldier and Adjutant General of North Carolina (1877–1888), Johnston Jones, introduced the bill which led the state legislature to adopt a new flag in March 1885 to replace the flag that had been adopted on June 22, 1861, immediately following the state's declaration of secession from the U.S. on May 20, 1861. The red field of the old flag was replaced by a blue field. This was the first and only flag formally representing the State of North Carolina as part of the United States.
On June 24, 1991, a bill was passed by the North Carolina Senate that changed the official proportions of the state flag. It changed from "..the total length of the flag shall be one-third more than its width" as written in the 1885 act to "...the total length of the flag shall be one-half more than its width".
Salute to the flag
The General Assembly of North Carolina adopted an official salute to the flag in 2007. It reads:
I salute the flag of North Carolina and pledge to the Old North State love, loyalty, and faith.
- "North Carolina (U.S.)". flags of the world. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- "North Carolina General Statute 144-1". ncleg.net. Retrieved December 27, 2019., (1885, c. 291; Rev., s. 5321; C.S., s. 7535; 1991, c. 361, s. 1.)
- Josh Howard. "Flag of North Carolina". NCPedia. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- Smith, David C. (2006). "State Flag". NCPedia. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- Houck, Douglas, ed. (2011). Historic Charlotte County : an illustrated history (1st ed.). San Antonio, TX: Historical Pub. Network. p. 34. ISBN 9781935377337.
- Ingraham, Christopher Ingraham (Jun 21, 2015). "How the Confederacy lives on in the flags of seven Southern states". Washington Post.
- Edmonds, W. R. (1913). The North Carolina state flag. Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards & Broughton Print. Co.
- "North Carolina General Statute 144-8". ncleg.net. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
Media related to Flags of North Carolina at Wikimedia Commons