Our nation has 50 states,1 which an nice round number to memorize. Plus it makes for a symmetrical flag that features a star for every state.
However, there are a few recent developments that complicate that symmetry.
- North Dakota: It turns out that North Dakota might not be a state after all. There's a growing belief that Article XI, Section 4 of North Dakota's state constitution is in conflict with the federal constitution, which would make the statehood invalid.
- California: Republicans are pushing a plan to break California into two states. The new South California would be, basically, the Republican counties. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) opposes the proposal, saying there's already a choice for Republicans who are upset with California's Democratic majority. "If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there's a place called Arizona," Brown's spokesman Gil Duran told the Los Angeles Times.
- District of Columbia: The so-called D.C. retrocession plan got some attention though the publication of an op-ed in the Washington Post earlier this month suggesting that Maryland annex the district.
- Puerto Rico: President Obama visited Puerto Rico last month and promised to support whatever the island decides in its two-step plebiscite – whether that means remaining a protectorate, becoming a proper state or becoming fully independent.
What do you think? Despite these developments, are you confident that we'll end the decade with 50 states and the same flag?
1Plus some other territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, Palau, Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Oh and the District of Columbia, where 600,000 people live and pay federal taxes without federal voting representation.