carolina scots kilt
photograph by Stacey Van Berkel

The Music

st andrews pipe band

The Earl of St. Andrews tartan was adopted by St. Andrews University for its color pattern. Photograph by Stacey Van Berkel. photograph by Stacey Van Berkel

St. Andrews University Pipe Band • Laurinburg
Bill Caudill (front, far left) leads the 16-member, student-based bagpipe band he founded 26 years ago through the leafy campus of St. Andrews University. The Scottish Heritage Center, with historical papers coveted by Glasgow University itself, is also located on campus, and directed by Caudill.

The Shell

museum coastal carolina

Photograph by Lissa Gotwals. photograph by Lissa Gotwals

Museum of Coastal Carolina • Ocean Isle Beach
Whelks and clams are fine, but finding a perfect Scotch Bonnet shell — like the prized specimens shown above — south of the Outer Banks is special. Named in honor of early Scottish settlers, and for its resemblance to the men’s traditional woolen caps, the Scotch Bonnet became the state shell — and North Carolina the first state to name such a symbol — in 1965, thanks to an initiative by the North Carolina Shell Club.

The Churches

providence presbyterian

Photograph by Logan Cyrus. photograph by Logan Cyrus

Providence Presbyterian Church • Charlotte
Presbyterianism is the most lasting legacy of the Highland and Ulster Scots in North Carolina. Providence Presbyterian is the oldest frame sanctuary in the country.

old bluff presbyterian

Photograph by Lissa Gotwals. photograph by Lissa Gotwals

Old Bluff Presbyterian • Wade
First Ministers of Old Bluff church — organized in 1758 — included a McBryde, a McDiarmid, and a McDougald. For nearly a century, its services were conducted in Gaelic.

summerville presbyterian

Photograph by Lissa Gotwals. photograph by Lissa Gotwals

Summerville Presbyterian • Lillington
Ever since the body of a stranger seeking help was discovered on the church steps, the doors on Summerville Presbyterian have never been locked. Featuring elements of Greek and Gothic Revival designs, the building dates to 1845-’46.

The Flower

Photograph by Stuart Kelly / Alamy. photograph by Stuart Kelly / Alamy

Romantic and historic — if a bit prickly — the symbol of Scotland that grows wild in our Sandhills was stitched onto North Carolina Confederate flags as a means of declaring, “This is who we are: the Scotch Boys.”

The Ancestry

barbecue presbyterian

Photograph by Lissa Gotwals. photograph by Lissa Gotwals

Barbecue Presbyterian Church • Harnett County
From McLean to McDonald, cemetery tombstones across the state bear Scottish surnames. The prefix “Mc” means “son.”

The Horse

scots clydesdales

Photograph by Stacey Van Berkel. photograph by Stacey Van Berkel

Hunting Creek Farms • Hamptonville
Long before Super Bowl and Christmas ads for Budweiser, Clydesdales were draft animals in the Clydesdale district of Scotland. Originally bred with imported Flemish stallions, the well-muscled horses boast extensive feathering on their legs. Great numbers of Clydesdales were exported from Scotland in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Hence this bonny lad, Brumby, one of 16 show Clydesdales at Hunting Creek Farms in Hamptonville.

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