The full name of one of the original 13 founding United States known as Virginia. Virginia is known as the Old Dominion and is bordered by Delaware, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, Washington DC and West Virginia. The FIPS PUB 6-1 abbreviation, otherwise known as the postal abbreviation for Virginia is VA. The state flower and state tree are the Dogwood. Unique among most states is the provision that every city in the Commonwealth is an independent city, and is not part of a county.

Major Cities in Virginia include Alexandria, Fairfax, and Fredericksburg in Northern Virginia; Roanoke, Staunton, and Winchester, in the Shenandoah Valley region; Colonial Beach in the Chesapeake Region; Norfolk, and Williamsburg, in the Tidewater/Hampton Roads Region; Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and the State Capital in Richmond in Central Virginia.

Okay, so it is not proper to refer to Virginia as a state. All official documentation in Virginia refers to it as the Commonwealth of Virginia, not the State of Virginia.

However, Virginia's Commonwealth Police cars still have "STATE POLICE" emblazoned on the side, perhaps for the sake of clarity for the thousands of New Yorkers that pass through the state every day on their way to Florida, perhaps because Commonwealth Police is too many letters.

It is a quandary, though, all the same. The police cars are the only concession Virginia will make to being just like any other member of the Union, and not some special district which all other members should curtsy to.

It is my understanding that Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Kentucky are officially commonwealths as well, but Virginia is by far the most rabid about declaring it.

Actually it is quite proper to refer to Virginia as a state (i.e. a sovereign unit of the federation). As a state, VA has the right to assume any official name it wants, and that happens to be "Commonwealth of Virginia."

Vaguely related, I have heard rumors that California and Texas refer to themselves as republics.

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