This November the rest of the country learned that ignoring the Midwest comes at their peril. I can’t say I’m particularly proud of the way the people of the Midwest have been stereotyped because of that, but I am optimistic that perhaps for once the people of the coasts will realize they need to pay more attention to the middle of the country.
Part of that ignorance is our own fault, as we were brought up to stay humble and to figure things out on our own. Things aren’t going your way? Put your nose to the grindstone and figure out how to beat the odds. Don’t look for someone else to bail you out. Just look at Detroit. Or Cleveland. Although if you’re not from the Midwest you might not realize the revitalization that has occurred in those two oft-cited examples of Rust Belt decay. And that’s because we don’t like to brag. Ask us why the Midwest is great and we’ll tell you, but don’t expect us to shout it from the rooftops unsolicited.
But perhaps it is time the Midwest talks a little louder. Perhaps it is time we do our part to help the rest of the country see that we’re more than just backwards country bumpkins living in a flat land with decaying cities and nothing to do. That’s part of the reason I created the Midbest Sweatshirt for Flyover Press. It’s a small brag about how we think this part of the country is the best, even if that’s completely subjective.
Even though the Midbest Sweatshirt is meant to display our Midwestern pride, it does it in the most Midwestern way possible. It’s subtle and simple, not in your face. One simple phrase in a bold but relatively plain white font across the front of a heather gray sweatshirt. But it’s not just any sweatshirt. It’s made from extra soft ring-spun combed cotton and it’s made right here in the Midwest. If we’re going to brag, we’re still going to do it in our own understated, Midwestern way.
The other reason for embracing Midbest is as a daily reminder to make this region the best it can be. Fix the stereotypes. Overcome the odds. Do your small part in not just making the Midwest better, but in making it the best. So even if we’re bragging a little, we’re still working hard to keep the Midwest the Midbest.