NEW YORK--The Greater North Dakota Association is supporting a proposal to change the state's name to "Dakota." The state's chamber of commerce claims the plan would help alter North Dakota's image as a frigid, treeless prairie.
"We're not going to change that overnight," said former Gov. Ed Schafer, who is leading the initiative. "But a name change would get a lot of attention."
In order to legalize the proposal, officials would have to alter the state constitution and the federal Enabling Act, which split the Dakota Territory into the states of North and South Dakota in 1889.
However, Lee Peterson, the state's economic development director, says it's not the name that is a marketing and branding drawback. "The problem with North Dakota is that no one knows about us," Peterson said. There was no word whether North Carolina was considering a similar change.