Friday, July 1, 2016

Everything Old Is New Again

The District of Columbia was established on July 16, 1790. That makes it old. Columbia, Maryland was established on June 21, 1967. That makes it new. In fact, Columbia was promoted at the time as "the New American City."

The District of Columbia has long agitated for full statehood. When Mayor Muriel Bowser put forward her draft state constitution, the issue of a name for the 51st state came up. The proposed name? New Columbia.

...New Columbia—the default ever since a 1982 Statehood Constitutional Convention chose it over Anacostia (the runner-up), Potomac, Rock Creek, Capital State, and (fanciful even then) the State of Utopia.

I see a problem here.

Clearly Columbia, Maryland, clocking in at 1967, is newer than the Disctrict, at 1790. What sense does it make to have a New Columbia which is patently older than the (old?) one? Just contemplating this makes my head hurt.

I'm not the only local blogger concerned about this, either. Elizabeth Brunetti of Take On Elizabeth tweeted:

Please don't call yourself "New Columbia". Pretty please. #HoCoMD #ColumbiaMD #IDontWantToBeKnownAsOldColumbia

District of Columbia vs Columbia MD is already confusing enough for out-of-towners!

Her (lighthearted?) suggestion:

They should just pull a Hunger Games and call it The Capital, cutthroat as it is...

I'm sure that those of us in the New Amercian City aren't going to get a vote in this. If we did, I'd probably go with Anacostia. But we can't just barge in and change someone else's name. If DC statehood goes through, maybe we'll just have to change our own name to avoid confusion.

May I suggest Chase Eden?



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