Dear Kid,

Once upon a time (and by once upon a time I mean 1776) our country was called the United Colonies. While this worked in the initial start-up phase of the country, once there was an IPO the founders realized they had to come up with a snazzier name.

So the Founding Fathers contracted the hottest marketing firm of the time to brainstorm and then market test fun and memorable names for the young country. Unfortunately, marketing was in its infancy as a profession and the FFs engaged Bob the Marketer.

Calling himself Bob the Marketer may have been Bob’s best marketing job ever, because Bob was really a pig farmer. Which meant that all Bob’s market research was done with his pigs. And while pigs are smart, they are not known for caring much about what the country is called. Or maybe they do care but just can’t communicate it very well. Or maybe they communicate very well and Bob just wasn’t good at interpreting. Whatever the true case, Bob the pig farmer didn’t have a lot of useful input when it came to branding the country.

Bob presented three alternatives to the Continental Congress:

  • A Bunch of Folks Who Got Together in America
  • Petunia (after his favorite pig)
  • United States of America

Bob actually threw that last one in there as a joke, but all sorts of jokes get taken seriously and this was one of them.

On September 9, 1776 the Continental Congress (another group that could have benefited from working with Bob the Marketer) formally declared the name of our nation to be the United States of America.

This made everyone (except Petunia) happy. The flag makers were happy because they got to make more flags. The mint was happy because it got to print new money. And Congress was happy because it actually got something done (modern day lawmakers know nothing of this).

Petunia was unhappy as she felt slighted by an entire country. But as has been pointed out, Bob’s porcine communication skills left a lot to be desired so he never knew.

Happy Naming Day, America.

Love, Mom