Where does Tar Heel come from?
The name Tar Heel began as a derogatory term for poor people in the North Carolina area who worked with with waterproofing-materials, such as rosin and tar, and walked around with tar on their heels.
During the Civil War, in particular, the term was used by some soldiers as a derisive way to refer to soldiers from North Carolina. It was also during the war that North Carolinians began to take back the term, referring to one another as Tar Heels as a point of pride. Governor Zebulon B. Vance visited the Army of Northern Virginia on March 28, 1864 and addressed his fellow Tar Heels. The term was quickly adopted by other North Carolinians, and their state is now called the Tar Heel State.
It was later adopted by the University of North Carolina for its collegiate teams. UNC changed its team name from the White Phantoms to the Tar Heels in the 1920s. Tar Heels are represented by an icon of a foot, with a black spot at the heel. It’s not to be confused with the mascot of the University of North Carolina, a ram.
Who uses Tar Heel?
Residents of North Carolina are referred to as Tar Heels, as are members of the UNC athletic teams and students at the college.
"#UNCTarheels," "#Tarheels," "#TarHeelNation," and "#GoHeels" are all ways to refer to the Tar Heels on social media.
Let’s go #TarHeels
@DaleJr, March, 2018
Did somebody say 59-0? Now say it like you mean it, 🗣#TarHeels
@tarheelchaplain, January, 2018
Hearing the #TarHeels chant break out on your sold out home court should tell you a lot of things. #GoHeels #WeTravel #UNC
@UNC_TarHeelFan, December, 2017