Throughout the rally, he mentioned both Virginia and West Virginia:
To be totally, completely, 100 percent clear for anyone who might not know: Virginia and West Virginia are not the same state. Virginia became a state on June 25, 1788. West Virginia split from Virginia during the Civil War and became the 35th state on June 20, 1863.
See here, a map showing the outlines of two different places:
Trump was speaking at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center ― his first clue he was not in West Virginia. Granted, he was speaking to a group of coal miners, and West Virginia is known for its mining, so he could have been trying to make a connection. But it was a weak one, if so.
Compared to the rest of the racist, xenophobic things Trump says, this is hardly a big deal. It’s nothing compared to his statements that implied he wanted someone to shoot Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, or his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.
But this explainer was a long time coming. Trump is hardly the first to mix up West Virginia and Virginia ― it’s sadly a common occurrence.
As a native West Virginian, I regularly receive questions about how close my hometown is to Roanoke. (It’s 168 miles away, across the state line.)
Sportscasters regularly mix up the states during games for West Virginia University, Marshall University or other schools in the Mountain State. Shirts have been made to clear up the confusion, like this one worn by actor Ryan Dorsey, a native West Virginian:
Many West Virginians encounter others on a daily basis who could use some clarification on the whole 50-state situation:
Musician John Denver even sang a whole song about West Virginia:
Like Denver says, “life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains” ― and younger than Virginia.
Spread the word: West Virginia is a state.