Rhode Island moves to shorten formal name

June 30, 2009 at 5:37 PM
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PROVIDENCE, R.I., June 30 (UPI) -- Rhode Island officials are pushing for a vote to let residents decide whether to shorten the state's formal name, which critics say is evocative of slavery.

The state House of Representatives voted 70-3 to allow residents to vote on whether to shorten the name from State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations to simply "State of Rhode Island," WPRI-TV, Providence, R.I., reported Tuesday.

The state Senate passed a similar bill, but the two houses must settle on a single version before it can go forward.

Critics of the "Providence Plantations" portion of the state name say it is evocative of slavery, while opponents of the name change say it is an unnecessary abandonment of tradition, WPRI-TV said.

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