Friday, July 1st, 2011

State Slogans: Ranked And Saluted

51. Washington—"SayWa!"
The worst part of "Take Your Kid to Work" day is that this came out of it.

50. Maryland—"Maryland of Opportunity"
Maryland of Awful Puns.

49. Rhode Island—"Unwind"
Sounds suspiciously like a chance to nap. See also: Things this slogan will make you do.

48. Nevada—"The Battle Born State"
This slogan is only cool if it refers to Harry Reid's career as a boxer.

47. Wisconsin—"Live like you mean it"
A bad inspirational mini-poster from a Wheaties box. It would be on a shelf next to the 1992 Olympic Basketball Dream Team cups from McDonalds, but even John Stockton and Scottie Pippen would eye it suspiciously.

46. Arizona—"The Grand Canyon State"
If Missouri is the Show Me State, Arizona is the Phoning It In State.

45. Iowa—"Life Changing"
A trip to Iowa can't repair low self-esteem and crippling anxiety problems. Sorry, Iowa.

43. South Carolina—"Smiling Faces. Beautiful Places." (tie)
South Carolina, are you really that comfortable with being mistaken for South Dakota?
43. South Dakota—"Great Faces. Great Places." (tie)
South Dakota, are you really that comfortable with being mistaken for South Carolina?

42. Oklahoma—"Oklahoma is OK"
The nation's ambivalent shrug.

41. Hawaii—"The Islands of Aloha"
No bye, no aloha.

40. New Jersey—"Come see for yourself"
Way to do nothing to dispel the notion that everyone in Jersey is lazy, Jersey.

39. Vermont—"Vermont, Naturally"
Serving dickishness right up on a platter. Does it come with a side of snootiness?

38. Virginia—"Virginia is for Lovers"
North Virginia, however, is for motherfuckers.

37. Massachusetts—"The Spirit of America"
This one feels lazy, sort of phoning it in, as if it was asleep through most of the Slogan Making Meeting and then popped up when called on and this was the first thing out of its mouth.

36. California—"Find Yourself Here"
“I went on this journey of self-discovery and all I got was this lousy sunburn” is a bumper sticker idea for them.

35. Georgia—"Georgia on My Mind"
"Midnight Train to Georgia" was robbed.

34. Kansas—"As Big As You Think"
"When Frat Boys Make Slogans: The Kansas Story"

33. Arkansas—"The Natural State"
Arkansas: Taking its slogans from Doctor Bronner’s bottles since 1836.

32. Maine—"There's more to Maine"
This one opens more questions than it answers. More than what? More than there is to Nova Scotia? More to Maine than lobster?

31. Pennsylvania—"State of Independence "
Feels a bit like Ohio putting moon stuff on their quarter.

30. Louisiana—"Pick Your Passion"
Almost as lazy as Jersey's slogan. Almost.

29. Tennessee—"America at its best "
It just feels like they have something to prove.

28. Texas—"It's like a whole other country."
And it's tried to be, many times.

27. Florida—"Sunshine State"
Lazy and uninspired. They might as well just have their slogan be "ORANGES" in all caps.

26. Connecticut—"Full of Surprises"
It's not bad. There are at least 25 slogans worse than this. But that still leaves 25 better. Cue your Jimmy Eat World CD, New Haven.

25. West Virginia—"Wild and Wonderful"
You say "wild," we say "feral."

24. Alabama—"Share the Wonder"
You're a state, not a bag of Skittles.

23. Oregon—"We love dreamers"
And homeless crusties.

22. New York—"I Love New York."
The perfect t-shirt slogan for tourists who spent their entire trip to New York waiting to get robbed at gunpoint.

21. Delaware—"It's Good Being First"
It's pretty cocksure. Like "yeah, I know what's up." Delaware's slogan probably wears sunglasses and gets served at that bar where all the bartenders are total jerks.

20. Illinois—"Mile after Magnificent Mile"
Illinois is trying to upsell you.

19. Utah—"Life Elevated"
This slogan is Tom Petty. No one hates it, but it's no one's favorite.

18. Mississippi—"Feels Like Coming Home"
Aww, that's so nice of you, Mississippi. As long as that home isn't the house from Poltergeist we should be ok.

17. North Carolina —"A Better Place to Be"
It makes North Carolina sound so inviting, like it'll have cookies ready when you get there.

16. Minnesota—"Explore Minnesota"
Simple, yet effective. It beckons you a little. Maybe offers you a pull of its flask before sending you on your journey.

15. New Hampshire—"You're going to love it here."
Live free or die is, sadly, only the motto. However, if you let the disembodied voice of Tim Gunn read this to you, you almost instantly want to go there.

14. Alaska—"Beyond Your Dreams, Within Your Reach"
Is that a Replacements reference?

13. Missouri—"Close to Home. Far from Ordinary."
It seems like each state is going for absolute exceptionalism, like they're trying to out-weird each other. But have you ever had a weird out contest with your friends? Somebody always ends up with a picture of themselves naked except for a well placed puppet and no chance of ever seeking public office.

12. Colorado—"Enter a Higher State"
Man, it's no wonder Boulder is littered with hippies whose dads own real estate in Colorado Springs.

11. Kentucky—"Unbridled Spirit"
DID YOU KNOW THAT KENTUCKY HAS LOTS OF HORSE RACING? But whatever, Animal Kingdom paid out, like, $200 for a win ticket.

10. Nebraska—"The Good Life "
One of us is Nebraskan. We recuse ourselves.

9. New Mexico—"Land of Enchantment"
America’s number one destination for alien spacecraft crashes and spiritual journeys of college sophomores who just read Thoreau.

8. Ohio—"So Much to Discover"
Go on …

7. Wyoming—"Like No Place on Earth"
Wyoming telling it like it is. Also, the second best state to never deal with people ever.

6. Indiana—"Restart Your Engines"
There are just so many ways to take this, but we find that we don't find any of them necessary.

5. North Dakota—"Legendary"
Forget that you forgot about North Dakota. This motto is just so brazen, so forward … you can't help but feel that now you have to know about North Dakota.

4. District of Columbia—"Taxation Without Representation"
The biggest middle-finger slogan. Also, by including DC, we were allowed to put Washington at an even lower ranking

3. Michigan—"Say Yes to Michigan"
If you insist.

2. Idaho—"Great Potatoes. Tasty Destinations."
You had us at "potatoes."

1. Montana—"The Last Best Place"
The First Best Slogan.

Victoria Johnson and John Wenz love America.

53 Comments / Post A Comment

Astigmatism (#1,950)

Since when do we get Commentary with our Listicles?

Matt (#26)

It's "The Home of Tax-Free Shopping."

Matt (#26)

It's "Small Wonder."

hman (#53)

@Matt Also, a town named "Bear" – so +1.

Matt (#26)

@hman It may not surprise you to know that my parents' mailing address is in Bear, although truth be told they live closer to Glasgow.

hman (#53)

@Matt I'm sure this pleases your parents very much.

Matt (#26)

Washington, DC slogan: "…"

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@Matt "We Came Up With a Good One, But We're Waiting for Congressional Approval"

HiredGoons (#603)

@Matt: "It's monumental!"

Someone pay me.

HiredGoons (#603)

You badmouth Vermont again and I'm going to send you over to New Hampshire and have someone shoot you.

Don't Panic (#12,659)

I did not know that when I was speaking derogatorily about Texas I was actually using the state slogan.

Shouldn't Washington through Iowa be 51 to 45 rather than 50 to 44 since there is a tie for 43?

jfruh (#713)


Vicky (#7,168)

@jfruh Good point. And now Washington will seem even lower.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

And "Virginia is for Lovers" was adopted two short years after Loving v. Virgina!

(Also, it's Northern Virginia.)

@SidAndFinancy Virginia is underrated, as is Georgia. No quarrel with Montana, though.

Matt (#26)

I am one certified motherfucker here in 'North' Virginia.

martin lawrence (#8,248)

Virginia's will always be "Sic Semper Tyrannis" for me. Badass.

Louis Fyne (#2,066)

@sereader That would be badass.

Graydon Gordian (#3,206)

The Mountain West rolls deep.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

Kentucky missed a real opportunity to advertise two key industries with "Unbridled Spirits."

Unrelated: You can't give DC their license plate motto, not their official slogan, but deny the Granite State the same.

Louis Fyne (#2,066)

Top ten! I still prefer "Hoosier State", cause, what does that even mean?

@Louis Fyne I've lived 5 miles from the statehouse for five years and I had no idea this was Indiana's slogan. We're evidently not very effectively marketing it.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Texas misspelled "nother"?

deepomega (#1,720)

All 51 one of these should just be DC's slogan, over and over and over.

jfruh (#713)

So … what's the difference between a "motto" and a "slogan"? Other than "Mottos were thought up by rich people with classical educations between 1800 and 1875, and slogans were thought up by committees of marketers after 1975?"

If we're going to rate mottos, Maryland's — "Manly deeds, womanly words", in Italian for some reason — should be 51st and 1st simultaneously.

petejayhawk (#1,249)

@jfruh No, that pretty much covers the difference.

lexalexander (#2,960)

"Montana—"The Last Best Place" — This would be the REAL Replacements reference, inasmuch as that band was marketed as (and I realize I'm dating myself here) "The Last, Best Band of the '80s."

petejayhawk (#1,249)

ESCAPE TO WISCONSIN from the late-70s and early-80s…best slogan ever. I somehow managed to acquire an old green and yellow ESCAPE TO WISCONSIN bumper sticker several years back and it adorned the back bumper of my car until I sold the car. I got occasional comments on it from other former Wisconsinites. I miss the bumper sticker much more than the car.

Blackcapricorn (#4,791)

@Deleted by user With the proper use of scissors, do you think this will do?

Tully Mills (#6,486)

Hey! We don't litter in Boulder, we recycle our hippies.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

I probably would have "liked" some of the commentary if it had appeared as, well, comments.

MythReindeer (#5,553)

30. Louisiana—"Pick Your Passion"

I call horseshit. I am a lifelong resident of Louisiana and I have never heard of this. Also, it sucks.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@MythReindeer More like Pick Your Poison, amirite?

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@SidAndFinancy You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose. That's my slogan.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

This post would read well as dialogue from a road trip. Think of small children collecting the slogans from passing license plates and screaming them out and forcing their older siblings to rate and comment on their finds for thousands and thousands of miles.

davetar (#1,114)

Connecticut used to have the much more awesomely creepy and commanding "You belong in Connecticut", like Rowland was going to attach a brain slug to you or something.

John W (#6,405)

@davetar That is nothing short of amazing.

@davetar please do not neglect the even earlier "Better Yet, Connecticut." It had a fake rhyme and like the current Maine one makes you wonder "better than what?" It's all this vague one-upmanship going on.

HelloTitty (#830)

Wait, I thought Maryland's was "Maryland is for crabs" just to piss all over Virginia? Fucking Virgina. I hate you.

heartbreakturnip (#1,190)

@HelloTitty Yeah. When I was growing up there it was "Maryland is for Crabs," the greatest slogan ever.

keisertroll (#1,117)

New Jersey: America's Purgatory

IntheDesert (#14,488)

New Jersey's used to be, "New Jersey and you, perfect together" when Kaine was governor. Kaine used to pronounce it "peh-fect" though. My sister used to do a great impression of it.

Moff (#28)

Nice work, North Dakota!

seattleist (#14,743)

Washington also has a bizarre state motto…"Alki". It means "by and by", or "eventually" in Chinook jargon. Seattle was originally named "New York Alki", as in, "New York, someday".

cookbell00 (#15,018)

hi m cookbell

Jhawk320 (#12,513)

As a Kansan, I can tell you "as big as you think" has been turned into a rather catchy bumper sticker that says "as bigoted as you think." But I still miss our old slogan, "Kansas, the land of Ahhhs."

Squidman (#1,188)

Wait! When did Maine stop being "Vacationland"?

I have always personally thought Missouri's motto should be "Missouri Loves Company" hehehehehe

Anarcissie (#3,748)

What happened to '20 miles to Texas, 25 to Hell'?

Ike Hurst@facebook (#221,095)

Considering more astronauts (and presidents) came from Ohio than any other state…

thomas thomas (#269,800)

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