I’ve looked at alternate U.S. states before on this site here and here, but frankly, where things really start to get whacky is on the West Coast. But you knew that, didn’t you?
Being the most populous state in the union California tends to get divided up a lot. It seems fresh proposals come down the line every few years. Here Old California births six new baby states, rather uncreatively named. Jefferson is the oldest of these, having its origins in 1941 when some counties in southwestern Oregon joined counties of Northern California to secede from the U.S. altogether as the nation-state of Jefferson, the movement a reaction from rural communities who felt ignored by political leaders in the more urban areas.
Another way of dividing up California. Jefferson makes another appearance, and the megalopolises of San Francisco and Los Angeles each become the capitols of the new states of Reyes and San Gabriel, respectively. San Diego becomes the capitol of Cabrillo while San Joaquin retains Sacramento and the wine country of Napa Valley.
Washington state has also been proposed for a split, the land west of the Cascades retaining the name while the east becomes the new state of Columbia. In recent years Washington has been the center of a proposed ecotopia called Cascadia, which would also include Oregon, Northern California, and parts of Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. Here’s an imagining of it, flanked by the new state flags of its components.
This is actually an alternate state flag for Washington, but it would make a fine one for Cascadia as well.
Alaska, meanwhile, is too sparsely populated to be divided, as yet, but some have proposed splitting it anyway.
Oregon has been quiet regarding splitting and seceding, apart from the Jefferson business in 1941, but if the Oregon Territory had been organized differently, we might be looking at several states where present-day Oregon is. Like Washington, the most likely divide would be east-west, with the Cascade Mountains as the boundary.
If you’re looking to name an imaginary state in some imaginary U.S., and want to give it a name that evokes Washington or Alaska without it being quite like those real-world states, look no further.
Imaginary U.S. States, West Coast