Let's add another star to the flag

Editorial written by James Baughn on Tuesday, June 5, 2001

from the taxation-with-mediocre-representation dept.

Joe Sullivan has his downtown golf course. Alan Journet has his global warming doom-and-gloom warnings. City councilman Frank Stoffregen has his dream of a car in every garage, and a stop sign at every street corner.

We here at The Cape Rock have our own pie-in-the-sky crusade. We will not rest, we will not shut up, and we will not roll over and play dead until our dream of a 51st State of the Union reaches fruition.

It's time for Southern Illinois to break away from the tyranny of Chicago and form its own state.

Secession may seem drastic. But drastic measures call for drastic action. Illinois has approved a redistricting plan which gerrymanders Little Egypt into oblivion. Unless his class-action lawsuit against the redistricting is successful, Rep. David Phelps of Eldorado will quickly find himself in the unemployment line after the next election.

Southern Illinois will be "represented" (and we use the term loosely) by Congressmen hailing from Collinsville (St. Louis Metro East) and Sidney (near Champaign). The folks in Southeast Illinois will share the same Congressional district with the folks in Iroquois County... about 250 miles away.

And that's just the Congressional redistricting. Southern Illinois will undoutedly receive the shaft yet again when state districts are re-drawn and re-gerrymandered.

It wasn't always like this. When Illinois acquired statehood in 1818, the first capital was located in Kaskaskia. A couple years later, the capital moved to Vandalia and stayed there until 1839. But when the capital moved north to Springfield and the City of Chicago experienced a boom in population, things started to change.

Now Chicago dominates the entire state, and "Downstate Illinois" is a mere afterthought. How many Illinois lawmakers could locate Cairo on a map? Or Vienna? And could they pronounce these names correctly? I doubt very many legislators from Chicagoland have ever heard of Kay-Ro or Vye-enna and they probably don't give the posterior of a rat.

If the citizens of Southern Illinois wish to have a serious voice in government, they only have two options:

  1. Pack up and move to another state.
  2. Form their own state.

We propose that Little Egypt secede from Illinois to create the 51st State of the Union.

The citizens in this new state will immediately receive two Senators along with at least one Representative. All of the people representing Southern Illinois will... live in Southern Illinois! What a concept!

Naturally, there's certain logistical issues that would need to be worked out. What would the new state be called? "Little Egypt" is a natural choice, but let's not ignore the possibility of a corporate sponsorship. The new state could have one of the lowest tax burdens in the country if a company could be persuaded to shell out a few billion per year for naming rights.

Where would the capital be located? If the new state is to be called "Little Egypt", then the obvious choice is Cairo. It might not be the most prosperous place, but the city fathers are selling town lots for $1 and leasing store fronts for $1 per year. The new state could establish a capitol building and administrative buildings for just pennies a day.

We propose that the state flag feature a profile of a pyramid. The state song is too obvious: "King Tut" by Steve Martin. The motto? "Let the will of the people be the supreme law -- except for those annoying Chicagoans, who have been ruining our lives for the past century."

It's time for the fine people of Southern Illinois to unite and declare war on Chicago and Springfield oppression. It's time to stand up and shout "We've had enough of this crap and we're not going to take it anymore!"