Symbols of the great state of North Carolina:

State bird:
Now, that's original.

State tree:

State flower:
...which, technically, is also a tree. Don't tell anyone.

State vegetable:
Sweet potato
Just kidding. It's actually tobacco.

State nickname and state song:
"The Old North State"
Strange sense of humour? Strange sense of geography? Just because you're north of South Carolina doesn't mean you're north.

State motto:
Esse quam videre ("To be rather than to seem")
Runners-up: "Tobacco is a vegetable!" & "Been south so long it feels like north to me."

State insect:
State legislators leave no detail unseen to, no matter how small...

State shell:
Scotch bonnet
...or obscure...

State mineral:
...or boring.

State dog:
Plott hound

State mammal:
Grey squirrel
N.B.: The state dog is not the state mammal. Homo sapiens is not the state mammal. The state mammal is a bushy-tailed rodent that hoards acorns.

State drink:
Rumour has it that this was pushed through the legislature by a coalition of schoolteachers and dairy farmers, over the strenuous objections of factions favouring the more obvious choices: Cheerwine, sweet tea, a bottle of cola with a bag of peanuts poured into it, etc.

And, as of 2001:
State blue berry:
That's right, folks. The official blue berry of North Carolina is the blueberry. Tautologies being what they are, you might well ask, "Why didn't they just make the blueberry the state berry?" That's because:

State red berry:
Yup. One state berry is not enough for these people.
Since the colours of the state flag are the ever-popular red, white, and blue, I briefly wondered whether NC might not also have a State White Berry (maybe mistletoe?). But no, the state legislators showed themselves to be models of restraint in this instance.

Source: Most of this information (and the attendant snarky comments) got dredged up from my own memory, but see also for confirmation and more fun state symbols.

A list of counties in North Carolina is all very nice, but it's hardly the best learning aid. For those of you considering moving to this state, I've written a crash course summarising what county some of the cities and towns are in:

The city of Beaufort is in Carteret County while the City of Washington is in Beaufort County. In Washington County you'll find Plymouth.

Pittsboro is in Chatham County while the city of Greenville is in Pitt County. Greensboro is in Guilford County. Greene County has Snow Hill. The town of Rutherford is indeed in Rutherford County but the town of Rutherford College is in Burke County and no longer has a college. Franklinton is--mercifully--in Franklin County but the town of Franklin is in Macon County. Stokesdale is in Guilford and Stokesville is in Rockingham, but all Stokes County has is a small town named King--not to be confused with the cities of Kings Mountain or Kingstown which are both in Cleveland County, or Kinston (formerly called Kingston) in Lenoir County. The city of Lenoir, of course, is in Caldwell County. Wilson is in Wilson County but the tiny town of Wilson's Mill is so small that I can't figure out what county it's in. Jacksonville is in Onslow County and Jackson County has Dillsboro to complete with Duplin County's Mt. Olive. Mt. Olive, not being happy with merely one county, has spilled over the county border into Wayne County. "Where's Waynesville?" you ask? It's over in Haywood County. The town of Davidson is in Mecklenburg County. Davidson County has Thomasville.

Jonesville is in Yadkin County leaving Jones County with New Jersey-copycat Trenton as its only claim to fame. Polkville is in Cleveland County and Tryon is in Polk County. Tryon Palace, our state's first capitol, is in New Bern. Mooresboro is in Cleveland County and Mooresville is in Iredell County. Moore County has both Southern Pines and Pinehurst--not to be confused with Pine Knoll Shores or Pineville.

The city of Rockingham is in Richmond County. Eden is in Rockingham County but Edenton is in Chowan County. Although Hendersonville is in Henderson County, right where it should be, the town of Henderson is located in Vance County. The town of Clayton is in Johnson County while Clay County has Brasstown.

(Update: I've finally figured it out: Wilson's Mill is in Johnston County, not to be confused with Johnson County.)

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