Over the last few years, the country of France has become anathema, in part because of the political tension over the war in Iraq and the United Nations and so forth, and in part because Americans have seemingly always regarded the French culture with a sort of distaste, perhaps because the French seem to be the quintessence of European disdain of Americans as rude, uncouth, uncultured upstarts. This feeling has culminated in the brief but insidiously powerful move to eliminate the word "French" from the American dialect; witness the absurd moniker "Freedom Fries." It is quite remarkable, then, that Americans did not descend upon the state of Louisiana in a rabid horde, not unlike the villagers after Frankenstein's monster, waving their pitchforks of righteousness.
Why Louisiana? Consider: Louisiana is named after King Louis XIV, of FRANCE. Louisiana was bought by Thomas Jefferson, in the Purchase of the same name, from Napoleon I of FRANCE. It was originally settled by FRENCH colonists (That is, if we don't count the Native Americans already there, and when have we ever?). The largest city, New Orleans, is named after the city of Orleans, in FRANCE; the city's most famous cultural area is called the FRENCH Quarter. The holiday "Mardi Gras," probably the clearest association most people have with New Orleans and Louisiana, means "Fat Tuesday" in FRENCH (The holiday, FRENCH in origin, celebrates the last day of pleasure before Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday). The name of the capital city, Baton Rouge, means "red stick" or "red branch," in FRENCH. The largest lake in the state is Lake Pontchartrain, which is a FRENCH name. The famed Cajun and Creole cultures are an amalgamation of English, Spanish, and FRENCH; and in fact, the name "Cajun" is a corruption of the name "Acadian," the handle of a group of FRENCH colonists from Canada. Louisiana is the only state whose legal code refers, not to British Common Law, but to the Napoleonic Code of FRANCE. The counties there are not named "county," but rather, "parish," which, well, it sounds FRENCH.
If we were serious about our anti-French sentiments, we should have altered all of this to fit a more proper American mold. We at Online Highways would like to suggest, humbly, that we simply rename the state Bushiana, and add it to its neighbor Texas so that we can finally stop adding the qualifier "in the lower 48 states" when we proudly boast that Texas is the largest state (Take THAT, Alaska!). Then we could enjoy our alligator meat, which is available for consumption in Louisiana, with our Louisiana-born Tabasco hot sauce, without that frisson of horror we all feel when we encounter something that might just possibly be gallingly Gallic.