5280.com Exclusive: Stick It

Do you have a “Native” sticker on your car? If so, please remove it. (I asked nicely.)
August 30 2013, 1:59 PM

Coloradans love, love, love their state. And, for the most part, I embrace the self-adoration, from desk decor that helps support wildfire victims to T-shirts that commemorate the Mile High City’s best haunts. While I’m part of the cheering section, though, there’s one thing I can’t embrace: “Native” bumper stickers.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t seem that other states have the equivalent us-versus-them mentality. Sure, the “I Heart NY” shirts are ubiquitous, but not insulting. Bostonians slap the Red Sox logo onto almost anything. Texans don’t want you to mess with them, but don’t seem to care how you got to the Lone Star State. I grew up in the North Dakota tundra and I’ve never seen an equivalent for my home state (insert jokes here; I’ve heard them before).

Granted, the motivation behind the “Native” bumper stickers is pride in a place you can call home. I get that. And, technically, if you are born in the Centennial State you can slap the sticker on your rear fender. But, if we’re going to be a stickler for the truth, here’s a fact: Most of us are transplants, of some kind.

Native American history far predates any modern settlement. Long before the Gold Rush—or Spanish explorers, for that matter—Colorado was home to several groups, including the Ute tribe and what would become the Puebloan people. Take a tour of Mesa Verde and you’ll instantly realize that Colorado and the lines that have been drawn on maps to mark its borders are just moments in time.

Sound off: Have one of these stickers? Love them? Tell us why.

Read more about Colorado transplants here.

Follow senior editor Natasha Gardner on Twitter (@natashajgardner),Instagram, or Pinterest.