SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A plan to break California into six separate states just got closer to becoming a reality. The plan’s originator, Tim Draper, has been cleared to begin collecting signatures for the initiative, but the greatest challenge lies ahead. For his dream to come true, Draper will first have to face down the powerful American-flag-making lobby, which is calling the plan “insane” and an “assault on the time-honored tradition of putting fifty stars on the flag.”
Reggie Vandenbosch, chairman of the Flag Manufacturers Association of America, is one of the most vocal critics of the plan. Vandenbosch likens Draper to a “lunatic without his meds.
“We’ve had a way of doing business for 55 years,” he said. “Thirteen stripes plus fifty stars equals one American flag. Draper wants to ruin all that with his psychotic ‘plan.’ Well, I’ve got news for him: the fine people at the FMAA won’t let this happen without a fight. And if blood must be spilt, we shall not recoil.”
“The FMAA is nothing to mess with,” said an employee at Annin Flagmakers, the nation’s oldest flag manufacturer, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of “violent repercussions.” “I’ve personally seen men drawn and quartered for suggesting that Puerto Rico deserves statehood. This guy Draper has the FMAA in a panic, and that’s when they’re most dangerous.”
Draper, a founding partner of a Menlo Park-based venture capital firm, said he’s “well aware of the dangers that lie ahead,” but will push forward because he believes in the cause. “Vast parts of our state are poorly served by a representative government dominated by a large number of elected representatives from a small part of our state, both geographically and economically,” Draper said. He argues that California is too large—with 38 million residents—to be run by a single, centralized state government, and that its many regions have very different political priorities, which are often ignored.
“‘Six Californias’ allows a refresh,” Draper said. “And we’re going to make it happen, thuggish flag-makers be damned.”
If the plan succeeds, California will be divided into six new states: South California, West California, Silicon Valley, Central California, Jefferson, and North California. “Just saying those names is like urinating all over Betsy Ross’s grave,” Vandenbosch said. “If Californians enjoy pissing on American heroes, than yes, they should definitely support this plan.”
Draper must collect over 807,000 signatures for the initiative to be included on ballots in November, and he’s worried that “voter intimidation” will prevent him from succeeding. “The flag-makers’ spies are everywhere,” Draper claimed. “They’re out there right now, spreading lies—like telling voters that all the old flags will be sent to Syria and Iraq for terrorists to use as toilet paper. It’s extreme, but these people really don’t like change.”