Rich with Tradition

Pirate Nation is filled with many exciting traditions and history. We’ve made a list of the traditions you’ll need to know at ECU and some of the things you don’t want to miss out on while you’re here!

Many of our traditions are built around our mascot being the Pirates. We became the Pirates because of ECU’s location close to the coast of North Carolina where pirates often harbored their ships.

Pirate Nation Traditions

Many of our sporting traditions begin with our fans. During football season fans pour into the student section, also known as The Boneyard, to cheer on the Pirates. Throughout the game there are different traditions brought in. For baseball, students sit in “The Jungle” and basketball supporters are known as the “Minges Maniacs”.

  • The cannon is fired at the beginning of every football game when the team runs out, and each time the Pirates score a touchdown.
  • The “No Quarter” flag is raised at the end of the third quarter to symbolize the Pirates taking no prisoners and showing no mercy to their opponents. Students sing and raise their arms in a cross to show “no quarter” as well. Students cross their arms to form a skull and crossbones to show the opposing team they will not show any mercy. This symbol is used in similar ways at all of our athletic events as the game nears its end.
  • The ECU alma mater and fight song are also essential traditions to learn as a Pirate!

ECU battled BYU during the 2017 Homecoming football game on Saturday, October, 21, 2017. (ECU Photo by Rhett Butler)

East Carolina University Alma Mater

Praise to your name so fair,
Dear old East Car’lina,
your joys we’ll all share,
and your friends we’ll ever be.
We pledge our loyalty,
and our heart’s devotion,
To thee, our Alma Mater,
love and praise.


E.C. Victory (Fight song)

Cheer for East Car’lina,
Cheer for old E.C.,
We know we’re the finest,
Onward to victory!

Cheer for East Car’lina,
Cheer on for old E.C.,
Loyal and Bold,
we’re the purple and gold,


The Cupola is another great tradition here in Pirate Nation. The cupola originally sat on top of the old Austin building, one of the original classroom buildings. When this building was torn down the cupola was replicated and a similar structure, twice the size, was displayed in the middle of the mall. The tradition is that once you graduate, you can walk under the cupola. Legend has it that if you walk under the cupola before you graduate, you will not graduate in four years.

Once you’ve got our traditions down, there are still some must do’s here at ECU! Below is a list of some of the things that Pirates love to do while they’re studying at ECU!

  • Take a walk, or a bike ride, along the Tar River on the Greenville Greenway.
  • Enjoy a meal at Sup Dogs with friends.
  • Get ready for game day at a Freeboot Friday during football season.
  • Attend our yearly on campus celebrations like Pirate Pallooza, Halloween Havoc and Barefoot on the Mall! There are fun events put on for students throughout the year with games, food, t-shirts and more!