Friday, August 17, 2007
'When I think of N.C., I think of ...'
With all due respect to my Sandlapper friends, I must concede one thing: As a North Carolinian, I almost never find myself feeling jealous of South Carolina -- save for the fact that Charleston is perhaps my favorite U.S. city and, I have to admit, I really do like Hootie & the Blowfish. (And, of course, our neighbors to the south are among the nicest anywhere. So there.)
Having said that, I do have to give credit where credit is due. And in this instance, I'm jealous of the fact that South Carolina has produced one of the most iconic symbols anywhere in the world. I'm talking, naturally, about the S.C. flag. And more importantly, I'm referring to the palmetto tree and crescent that adorns the flag.
Simply put, it's a very cool symbol. You see it everywhere, even here in the Old North State. I imagine it's for three reasons that it's so popular: 1) People really love South Carolina; 2) It's just a really neat, unique symbol; and 3) it's become a defacto symbol of the South (not unlike the Bonnie Blue). I may be wrong about that last one, but that's the feeling I get, at least.
So, I'm jealous. Jealous that South Carolina has such a cool symbol. It looks good on hats, shirts, belts, stickers, etc. Our grand state doesn't quite have anything like that.
But could it?
S.C.'s symbol has reached a status not unlike "I (HEART) NY" or the slogan, "What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas." I'm not saying that N.C. can approach those. But it's worth a discussion.
Here are some potential options:
-The flag: North Carolina's flag is not as unique as S.C.'s or even Maryland's, but it's a ready-made symbol. One proposal would be to use the the star with the N on the left and the C on the right, as opposed to the whole flag. But stars as symbols are kinda overdone. (Go Cowboys!)
(By the way, did you know there was an official salute to the state flag? It's kinda new: "I salute the flag of North Carolina and pledge to the Old North State love, loyalty, and faith.")
-State symbols: Nothing really stands out here, save for the Cardinal (boring, in my opinion) or the Pine tree. But S.C. has the tree symbol monopoly.
Folks could use the Carolina Tartan more -- but that's available, I believe, to both Carolinas.
I think Ohio would be even more upset if we tauted the whole "First in Flight" that much more.
Any other state symbol ideas? The Venus Fly Trap? The Plott Hound? The Emerald? All cool things, but, again, I think they would be hard to translate to non-North Carolinians.
-One "dark horse" suggestion: The pig. While we may disagree on what kind of barbecue we prefer, we can all agree that N.C. BBQ is better than anywhere else in the world.
Do you have an idea for what could be the absolute best symbol for the state of North Carolina? The winning choice will receive some N.C.-related prize.
(Oh, and as a Wolfpacker, I refuse to accept a tar heel as a widely-used symbol for ALL of North Carolina.)
(S.C. flag courtesy of Wikipedia.)