Unless you are doing your part to keep the tin foil hat industry thriving, you don't argue the fact that North Dakota isn't a state, not to mention the leader in the clubhouse for the best Dakota in the nation.

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However, not everyone believes that North Dakota is a state. While we may think those naysayers are nothing more than paste-eating wingnuts (and they are),.  They have a fragment of reality to hold onto.

Since its admission to the Union in 1889, when President Benjamin Harrison approved it, it has been a state. Still, one could make the case that North Dakota wasn't a state before 2012 based on a little technicality.

There was a small oversight in the North Dakota state constitution, and that was the source of the technicality.

For a more in depth video on the topic, check out Half As Interesting on YouTube.



In accordance with Article VI of the United States Constitution, it is mandatory for state constitutions to include a provision requiring all branches of state government to pledge allegiance to the United States. However, as Grand Forks-based historian John Rolczynski demonstrated in 1995, North Dakota fell short of this promise.

Nowhere in North Dakota's founding document is it required that the governor or any other executive official take an oath. North Dakota may not have been a valid state if it had violated federal law.

Senator Tim Mathern of North Dakota proposed an amendment to address the issue, and the legislature approved it. The North Dakotans then had the chance to vote on the amendment, and it passed with an astounding 88.74% of the vote.

The validity of North Dakota's statehood was never seriously challenged, according to constitutional law specialists who examined the issue.

Regardless of whether the state constitution violated Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has already granted North Dakota statehood. More importantly, the Federal Enabling Act of 1889 determined North Dakota's admission to the Union.

The federal government had already determined that North Dakota was a state, and this determination was unaffected by any minor details.

It was a funny story in North Dakota's past, but now that door is closed to anyone who would have wanted to use it to secede from the rest of the country. For casting out any doubt about North Dakota's statehood, John Rolczynski merits a place in history books.


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