So I have
set -o vi set in my .bashrc file
When I open terminal it starts in INSERT mode. How can I make it so that it starts in NORMAL mode?
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Bash's vi mode, which you're referring to, only emulates a few vim concepts, and there's technically no vi or vim involved there. The vi stuff bash provides can not be configured the way vim can, (again, it only emulates vim, and a small part of vim at that).
While I don't think what you want is possible with the shell's vi-mode... there is a program you can install which brings greater vim power into the shell: https://github.com/ardagnir/athame.
Athame patches your shell to add full Vim support by routing your keystrokes through an actual Vim process.
Athame allows you to configure the vi-mode your shell starts in. https://github.com/ardagnir/athame#why-does-athame-start-in-insertnormal-mode describes insert mode is default but it provides a configuration setting so that normal mode can be default.