Even to a big box store, Maryland and Massachusetts aren’t exactly interchangeable.
Each state has a relatively narrow western portion that extends out, before getting longer and extending south toward the coast. Side by side, however, it’s clear that they’re different. Maryland is much skinnier in the west, and lacks Cape Cod’s famous hook in the southeast.
Massachusetts may be the Bay State, but it doesn’t have a bay that runs nearly the entire length of the state and creates a big, coastal peninsula. And that’s good. The fact that you can’t just squint at Ocean City a little harder and end up seeing Martha’s Vineyard is part of what makes us great as a nation.
So let’s be clear here: Boston can try to statue its way into a piece of Poe’s legacy, but it most certainly cannot have the Chesapeake Bay.
For one Walmart T-shirt designer, however, these differences were mere subtleties to be explored in some other variety of non-cotton graphic.
The University of Maryland T-shirt that the store designed said “Terps,” but it had the outline of Massachusetts. Confirming that this V-neck wasn’t the work of a UMD alumni looking to galvanize other Fitchburg-area Terps during the NCAA tournament, it was first flagged on Twitter by a Marylander:
— Sam Ficco (@Samficco) March 30, 2016
At first, Walmart officials doubled down, arguing that the two states are “shaped somewhat similarly” except for the Cape Cod “dip,” which was added to Maryland in this case to accommodate “Terps.” As Deadspin’s Drew Magary put it, they basically truthered it.
But thanks to social media, Walmart will not be allowed to dictate our borders. They heard from users other than Ficco throughout the weekend, and eventually apologized. Mysteriously, Sonny replaced Marie as the official Walmart Twitter greeter.
@Samficco We’re so embarrassed we may never stick our head out of our shell again! Thanks for guiding this lost Terrapin back to MD! -Sonny
— Walmart (@Walmart) April 4, 2016
Another Twitter user told Ficco that the T-shirts have been around since last year. Given this revelation, now may be a good time for Dakota and Mountain West Walmarts to look a little closer at the states depicted on their shirts.
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