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Carolina Trivia

In Case You Wanted To Know...


...Why we are called the Tar Heels

The nickname “Tar Heels” originated during the Civil War. 
Most stories tell that the name was used to describe the troops from North Carolina because they refused to retreat during a fierce battle in Virginia. Instead, they fought successfully and stood their ground, as if they had tar on their heels. Since then, North Carolina has been known as the Tar Heel State. More



  ...Why the ram is our mascot

Jack “the battering ram” Merritt led the 1922 Carolina football team to a strong 9-1 record and thus became UNC’s hero of the time. Rameses premiered in 1924 in response to the Wolf at N.C. State University and the University of Georgia’s Bulldog. The first Rameses cost $25 and was shipped from Texas, just in time for a football game against Virginia Military Institute (VMI).


To learn more about the Carolina Story, visit the Virtual Museum of University History.