The District of Columbia is pushing for statehood. It’s a longshot bid, supported by Democrats. But proponents in the nation’s capital are pitching a name that’s a lot like ours.

Share story

Hello to the nation’s capital! Excuse us. Your attention, please, to the West Coast (widely referred to as the Best Coast).

Allow us to reintroduce ourselves. Washington state. Nice to meet you again.

No doubt you’ve heard of us.

That hoppy brew you’re drinking? Probably our crop of hops. That smiley-faced package on your doorstep? You’re welcome.

Heck, you might not be reading this on that screen of yours if it weren’t for a software company founded by a certain resident of ours named Bill.

But somehow it seems you’ve forgotten about us.

The pursuit of statehood can be distracting, we’re sure (hard for us to recall; we only achieved that like 127 years ago).

We couldn’t help but notice the headlines this week. D.C. state name to be State of Washington, D.C., for example. We have some concerns.

Chiefly, you can’t steal our statehood name, add a few letters and expect us to just sit back and enjoy the sea breeze while sipping on lattes and wearing flannel. Yes, we’re renowned for our chill in the Pacific Northwest, but we can do cold, too.

There’s enough confusion already!

We hear it all the time: “Washington is dysfunctional,” they say. “The lobbyists have Washington in their pocket. Washington’s lost touch with Main Street.”

You’ve been dragging our name through the mud for decades!

Plus, we wouldn’t be in this position had you not foisted the name on us in the first place. Perhaps you’ve forgotten.

Many years ago (1853), we sent word back east that we’d like to become a territory. We could be called Columbia, we said.

Objections came out of your district. We already have a Columbia, Congress exhorted. That would be confusing. How about you be called Washington — for the first president. It’s an honor.

Thirty-six years later we became a state. Now we’re attached!

We’ve named a Washington state onion (the Walla Walla sweet), an official Washington state waterfall (honest question — do you even have a waterfall?), and even a Washington state tartan, for goodness sake.

So perhaps you’ll heed the advice of our state folk song and “Roll On, Columbia, Roll On” — we were first.