CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — There are a few subjects that almost every West Virginians has an opinion on. Almost all of us can agree that pepperoni rolls are one of the best foods ever made, but sometimes, its harder for us to agree. If you’re from or live in West Virginia, you’ve probably argued with someone about at least one of these subjects.
Is West Virginia part of “the South”?
As a product of the Civil War, West Virginia was literally created by the division of the north and the South. As part of Appalachia, West Virginia shares a lot of commonalities with her neighbors to the south, but some argue that because West Virginia left Virginia to avoid bring part of the Confederacy, it should not be categorized as part of the South.
The argument on whether West Virginia is the “northernmost southern state” or the “southernmost northern state” is one that most West Virginians have an opinion on. Although it is unlikely for it to divide West Virginia like it did the two Virginias in 1863, it is also something that West Virginians might never agree on.
Details of West Virginia hotdogs
West Virginia has a few polarizing opinions when it comes to the West Virginia hotdog. In general, a West Virginia hotdog has mustard, onions, chili sauce and coleslaw. However not all residents can agree on the perfect combo or ingredients or how to say them.
Should coleslaw be put on hotdogs? Most West Virginians feel passionately about this question, either thinking that a West Virginia without coleslaw is just a regular hotdog or that coleslaw is gross and shouldn’t be put on anything. Many West Virginians accept “the Slaw Line,” which is an imaginary line through the state; the theory is anywhere below the line will put coleslaw on a hotdog by default without you having to ask, and above the line, you will have to ask for it.
“Chili” vs “sauce”? Much like the coleslaw argument, most West Virginians are passionate about what they call hotdog chili…or hotdog sauce. Most of West Virginia, especially southern West Virginia, calls the topping “chili,” but some areas along the Ohio River Valley and Eastern Panhandle, it’s called just “sauce.”
Although the two arguments do not fully overlap, areas that generally call it “chili” are more likely to also be default coleslaw areas.
WVU vs Marshall
West Virginia sports fans—and even some non-sports people—are either rooting for West Virginia University or Marshall University. A lot of the rivalry has to do with what school someone attended, what school their family attended, or how their mom decorated their bedroom when they were a kid.
Although most West Virginians will root for their secondary team against other matchups for the sake of West Virginia pride, in the WVU vs Marshall game, almost everyone has a side—and usually a very passionate one.
Although the two teams rarely play in most sports, some think the rivalry and even hostility came about from 2006 to 2012 when the teams played every year in football, WVU winning all of them. The teams now rarely play.
Does camo belong on wedding dresses (or clothing in general)?
This might not be just a West Virginia thing, but camo is a very common pattern in rural parts of the Mountain State—even for your wedding. In general, whether or not camo is an appropriate fashion statement depends highly on where you live. In more urban places like Morgantown or Charleston, you might not see it very much, but it is an everyday occurrence at almost any rural high school or grocery store.
People who are used to wearing camo every day might feel more comfortable in a camo-trimmed wedding dress or vest on their wedding day. However, most West Virginians either love the idea of wearing the camo to represent their daily fashion and culture on their wedding day, or they absolutely hate it, thinking of it as a bad West Virginia stereotype come to life.
Is Mothman a good or bad omen?
Mothman is one of West Virginia’s most famous cryptids, and is best known for his appearance on the Silver Run Bridge in Point Pleasant right before its collapse in 1967 that killed 46 people. Mothman has since been turned into a movie and a festival, but residents still debate whether the 10-foot, black winged creature with red glowing eyes caused the tragedy or whether he was a sign meant to warn people.
In a 2021 interview with 12 News, West Virginia storyteller Jason Burns said, “I think probably most people see him as more of a villain, but honestly, he could be both, and in many ways, he is both, because there’s no actual proof that he caused the collapse. He could have just been saying, ‘Hey, it’s going to happen, lookout. I’m on the bridge pointing out the break.’”
This might seem like a less polarizing argument to people who aren’t cryptid fans, but trust us, you don’t want to tell a cryptid believer who thinks Mothman was a warning sign of the coming danger that he caused the disaster.