The smallest state in the US is not Rhode Island. Technically, the state's full, formal name is "The State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations." The little-known latter part has been under renewed scrutiny in recent weeks amid the George Floyd protests because of its evocation of the slavery era, and on Monday, Gov. Gina Raimondo will take a tangible step to fix that in the form of an executive order. From now on, state documents and websites will read "Rhode Island" and lose the part about plantations, reports NECN.
“Our work to dismantle systemic racism in Rhode Island did not start today and it will not end today, but we can rise together and make meaningful progress toward racial equity now,” Raimondo said in a statement. The change also applies to checks issued by the state treasurer, whose last line in a statement reads, "Besides, everyone calls us just 'Rhode Island' anyway." To make the move permanent would require the approval of the state legislature, followed by a voter referendum, and a state lawmaker already has gotten things moving on that front, per Patch.com. The Boston Globe notes that when the question came up at the polls in 2010, 78% of voters took the "no" stance on dropping those words, but proponents say the times have changed. (Read more Rhode Island stories.)