Recently, The Stranger wrote about eastern Washington State’s wish to be a separate state from western Washington State. The two halves are quite different: western Washington is much more liberal and urban; eastern washington is rural and largely conservative, and feels ignored by state politics.
The Stranger’s article suggested that Washington, DC could also become a state — its two liberal senators would offset the two conservative senators that would be added by Western Washington. That solves one problem, but not another: which state would be Washington? East Washington and West Washington are boring names, so let’s just give that to DC; they can have it.
One wag at dinner the other night suggested that East Washington could be Spokanistan after their likely capital, Spokane, but I think that they would take offense at that and I don’t really blame them. Perhaps since we would split the state at the Cascade Mountains, they could be Cascadia, a name that people in Western Washington would like to keep for themselves.
But let them have it. It’s a pretty name, and there aren’t a lot of other pretty names I could think of for that state. Western Washington could be Pacifica, after the lovely ocean we’ve got next door. Or — since eastern Washington is named after a mountain range — we could be named after our capitol, also a mountain range, and be Olympia.
I like Cascadia / Olympia as names for our new states.