If at first you don't secede, try, try again.
Tired of being ignored, even insulted, by the Colorado Legislature, ten northeastern counties are considering ditching this state altogether and starting their own. They don't like anti-gun, pro-gay, pro-grass, pro-green urban Colorado telling them what to do. They don't like being forced to put aside their guns in order to fire up the wind turbines to increase the percentage of renewable energy produced by their rural cooperatives, when maybe the city slickers are the ones who should start cooperating — the city slickers who called their secession idea "crackpot" when it first came up months ago, but aren't cracking up now.
And if they'd caught one of the icons proposed as a new symbol for Colorado slated to be unveiled at the end of the month (the three finalists are now gone from the makingcolorado.com website, but you can still see them in our July 25 Off Limits item), they really, really wouldn't like it: The icon is just a big, black rectangle in the shape of the state with the word "Colorado" in the center — and a smaller rectangle just above to the right, about where that dominant, dreaded 3G urban stronghold of Denver is located. The symbol's designer has an explanation for this location: "The rectangular shape is placed to the right and slightly upward in relation to the word, a nod to the exponential progress Colorado has experienced."
But if this is progress, rural Colorado would like to see it all sucked up in that black hole — which might as well call itself "Coolerado."
Still, the rebels have a long way to go before they can shed the other 54 counties of Colorado. The secession proposal would have to go before county voters on the November ballot, and there's just a month left to make that happen. So far, only Cheyenne County (population 1,876 — which is about the number of people waiting in line at a downtown Denver Starbucks on an average morning) has actually managed to get a ballot proposal through. Some counties are still holding hearings; others are contemplating a middle-ground proposal, the Phillips County plan, which would call for electing state representatives by county rather than population.
And even if the secession plan goes through, the hard work will just be starting. Not the hard work of figuring out how to fund highway construction and education, but the Herculean task of coming up with appropriate songs, symbols and slogans — not to mention finding an actual name for this 51st state. In the spirit of cooperation, we're offering a few ideas for the secessionists:
Potential state flowers: Replace the columbine with tumbleweed, ditchweed or Russian sage.
Potential state song: Ditch "Rocky Mountain High" for "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." Dump "Where the Columbines Grow" for "Home on the Range." Or just go with "White Christmas."
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Potential state birds: Instead of the lark bunting, go with the dodo.
Potential slogans: "Uncolorful Colorado," "Frack You, Colorado!" "Things Go Better With Koch," "How Dry I Am," "Living Off the Flat of the Land," "You Won't Miss Us."
Potential state names: Coloraduh, Kookarado, Gunarado and Courtarado (for where this movement may well wind up). Also Near Nebraska or Southern Wyoming. And finally, in a nod to one of rural Colorado's biggest industries: Methopotamia.