First in Freedom

April 12, 1776
First in Freedom: North Carolina Takes a Stand

You may have heard that North Carolina was “first in flight.” Did you know that on April 12, 1776, North Carolina also became “first in freedom?”

Americans were tired of being under the control of King George. The colonists were eager to earn freedom. John Adams said they “were determined to die poor and to die hard, if they must die.” In early 1776, the colonists of North Carolina took a stand against the British. They helped lead the way to independence.

One thousand patriots from North Carolina defeated 1,600 British loyalists on February 27, 1776. This victory at Moores Creek Bridge ended British control of the colony. This victory also inspired the colonists to take more action.

The colony of North Carolina made America’s first official call for freedom from the British on April 12, 1776. Soon other colonies also called for freedom. Within three months, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. North Carolina’s official state flag features the date April 12, 1776 to remind people of the state’s commitment to liberty.