NC may add state star and cookie to official symbols

Moravian cookies are shown at a bake shop in Clemmons. Courtesy photo

RALEIGH — North Carolina has long had many official state symbols, from our state dog to our state tree, there may soon be an official state cookie and star, both of which represent our state’s culture and history. State Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) has reintroduced the legislation to adopt the Moravian cookie and star to represent the state.

“This idea came up a few years ago when I received letters from a fourth grade class in Guilford County,” Hardister said. “The students had written letters to legislators in Guilford County, including myself, recommending that we adopt the Moravian cookie as the official state cookie.”

In 2019, a bill was run to designate the Moravian cookie as the N.C. official state cookie. The bill passed the house with a unanimous vote but was never brought to a vote in the senate.

“I don’t believe anyone in the Senate was opposed to the bill, it just never got taken up,” Rep. Hardister said.

The Moravians were German settlers, acknowledged as the first Protestants, settling around what is now Winston-Salem in 1753. The Moravians brought with them the Moravian cookie when they immigrated.

“The Moravian cookie is very unique. It’s very thinly sliced, which enhances productivity, they have spices in them which dating back to the 1700’s helps with preservation,” Hardister said. “They’re actually shipped around the world, people buy them all over the United States and also around the world, so they have a multimillion-dollar positive economic impact on the state of North Carolina.”

Old Salem Bakery and Dewey’s bakery, both located in Winston-Salem, are two of the most popular places to purchase the Moravian cookie.

“The Moravians have had an impact on our culture, on our economy, that when they came from Europe they predominantly went to Pennsylvania and North Carolina, they helped found Winston-Salem, and they still have a major impact on tourism with Old Salem and things like that.”

Old Salem Museums and Gardens offer events and tours emphasizing the cultural impact the Moravians had on North Carolina.

“Representative Donna White came to me and suggested including the Moravian star this time,” Hardister said.

The Moravian star originated in Germany in the 1830’s, it was used by Moravians in schools to teach geometry to young boys. The traditional star itself is a 26-point star, often used for Christmas decor in North Carolina still today.