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Petition: Rename Lake Michigan 'Lake Wisconsin'

Some Michiganders responded to the "Lake Wisconsin" petition by suggesting the neighboring state be renamed "West Michigan."

By Ben Hooper

MADISON, Wis., April 10 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin petition is seeking to even the score with "the so-called Great Lakes State" by changing the name of Lake Michigan to "Lake Wisconsin."

The petition, at visitlakewisconsin.com, had more than 500 signatures Friday afternoon supporting the idea to rename the great lake separating Wisconsin and Michigan for the state to its west.

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The petition states:

We, the citizens of Wisconsin, feel it's time for the Great Lake of Michigan to be renamed Lake Wisconsin. For too long Michiganders have gloated over Lake Michigan and their pretty sunsets. From now on, we will exclusively refer to it as Lake Wisconsin until every American joins us.

To our west we have the Land of 10,000 Lakes. To our east the so-claimed Great Lakes State. And here we are, left in the middle with nothing but a bunch of farmland, cows, and cheeseheads. It's time to make a change, this is Lake Wisconsin.

The citizens of Wisconsin have a long and storied history with Lake Wisconsin. Milwaukee resident J. Val Klump was the first person in history to reach the bottom of Lake Wisconsin, which he did in 1985 via a small submarine.

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The apparently tongue-in-cheek petition has gained support from Wisconsinites on Twitter, while annoyed Michiganders have suggested a counter-proposal to rename Wisconsin as "West Michigan."

The debate seems to have reignited cross-state rivalries that emerged in 2011, when the Wisconsin Department of Tourism generated backlash from Michigan with a campaign depicting Wisconsin as a mitten -- a shape long associated with its eastern neighbor.

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