Group calls for change to UNC’s ‘Tar Heels’ nickname

Local News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The Tar Heels has been the UNC-Chapel Hill nickname for as long as many people can remember – but now a group wants to change that.

The group, called the Union Soldier Campaign, argues that Tar Heels are associated with Confederate soldiers and they want the name changed.

The group gathered at Bennett Place in Durham on Tuesday where they held a small protest before forming a caravan to head to UNC to demand they change the name.

According to UNC’s alumni website, the name Tar Heel dates back to when the state was the leading producer of supplies for the naval industry, such as tar, and workers would get tar on their heels.

During the Civil War, North Carolina soldiers did call themselves Tar Heels as an expression of state pride.

The Union Soldier Campaign wants that name changed because of its connection to Confederate soldiers.

The group left Bennett Place at 12:30 p.m. to head to UNC where they hope officials will agree to change the nickname.

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