I’m sure you’ve all heard the big news by now: the Bullfrog has been officially adopted as the State Amphibian of North Carolina.
Chapter 145 of the General Statues is devoted to “State Symbols and Official Adoptions.” The trend of adopting “official” symbols began in 1941, when the dogwood was adopted as the state flower. Since then, there have been some predictable choices, such as the state bird (Cardinal, 1943) and state language (English, 1987). But there have also been a few that are surely unique to North Carolina, including the state dog (Plott Hound, 1989) and the state carnivorous plant (Venus flytrap, 2005).
With the addition of the newly-crowned state amphibian, North Carolina is up to twenty-eight symbols and official adoptions, but there may be more on the way. There is legislation pending that would adopt an official State Collard Festival (in Ayden), a State Blackberry Festival (in Lenoir), and an Official Food Festival (the Lexington Barbecue Festival). This trend seems to have picked up speed lately, with half of our “official” state somethings being declared after 1990.