The governors of five of the six New England states announced jointly today that each would be changing its name as of January 1st, 2021. Massachusetts and Connecticut both apologized for centuries of cultural appropriation by ripping off local toponyms from native peoples, using the names for areas occupied by white colonialist settlers, while Maine and Rhode Island confessed that their names had originated from white colonialist oppressors, replacing the perfectly good Native American names that should have been kept. Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire stated that the Executive Council had considered standing pat because “the name just means new home town shire,” but ultimately decided that “new” “home,” “town” and “shire” all had oppressive or citizenist connotations anyway and should be discarded. “We will probably go with Granite State – though even “state” is problematic,” he said. “White Mountain State is clearly right out.” There is already a petition circulating in Portsmouth to switch to “Statey McStateface.”
Massachusetts is considering changing to “Airstrip One;” Maine may simply drop the final “e” because it’s easier to spell; and Rhode Island, already annoyed at having to change the coolest state name in the country, is contemplating secession.
Only Vermont is retaining its traditional name, though Governor Phil Scott admitted this is provisional. “We think ‘Mountain’ is inoffensive, and ‘Green’ has the advantage of also being the name of one of the few acceptable political parties this year. Still, you never know. Someone might come up to the State House tomorrow and declare themselves offended, and we’d have to honor that.” In the meantime, the state has decided to change the names of most its towns, beginning with White River Junction and St Alban’s, owing to their unbearable whiteness and the unfortunate religious origins of the latter. “Because almost everything is either cultural appropriation or cultural hegemony, we thought we would just move to identifying every place name by its current initial letter,” Governor Scott explained. “Unfortunately, in Vermont everything of any importance begins with a B, so it won’t be much help on your GPS” he added, throwing up his hands. The residents of Montpelier immediately took to the streets with hastily-lettered signs in protest upon hearing that explanation.
Government officials from every other named place in the world declined to comment.