That's a great question!
So -- the use of the word "whereas" in this NCpedia entry is in the actual text of a North Carolina law.
The word "whereas" dates back to Middle English, and it is commonly used in very formal language, particularly in documents like laws, legal and court papers, and things like official proclamations. And in those types of documents, it often appears in a preamble, or introductory content. It means something like "considering the matter" or "taking the facts into consideration."
I hope this helps! And thanks for asking this question!
Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library