The Definitive Guide to Telling New Hampshire and Vermont Apart

In this image, the states' outlines are inverted. Because really, who gives a crap?

New England. It’s scary and foreign to most Americans, like health care for prostitutes. Most of us know that the American Revolution started in New England, but the region toiled in obscurity for over 200 years before briefly returning to the country’s attention in 2004 when the Red Sox won the World Series — at which point the lovable underdogs became a bastardized version of the Yankees with more annoying fans.

Yet even in the age of Wikipedia, the notion of our nation’s northeastern-most states as a collective is confusing. Take New Hampshire and Vermont, for example. Both in New England. Both heavily wooded. Both shaped like pork chops. It’s easy to confuse the two. That’s why this handy guide is all you’ll ever need to tell them apart.


Simply put, Vermont is a little bitch. When you see the V in Vermont, think “vagina” and it will help you get a fair assessment of the state. New Hampshire, in contrast, displays a much tougher persona. As you might guess about the only New England state to host a NASCAR race, its residents are more likely to own guns and less likely to have college diplomas, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when your neighbor is as fruity as Vermont. Let’s break it down:

What It’s Famous For

Vermont: Maple syrup, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and Phish. Also known as the Golden Triumvirate of Pussydom. My God, Phish is a terrible band. Basically, a collection of musicians less talented than the Dave Matthews Band got together and said, “Hey, there’s a whole subculture of unshowered nomadic potheads who just want to hear 20-minute songs. Let’s see if any of those Deadheads had children!” Guhhhh.

New Hampshire: Nothing at all. For its commemorative state quarter, New Hampshire selected the Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation that looked like a face, to grace the coin in 2000. The rocks collapsed three years later.


Vermont: The Green Mountain State. The Green Mountains are located there. Zero points for originality.

New Hampshire: The Granite State. Pretty badass.

State Motto

Vermont: “Freedom and Unity.” Figures. Those damn hippies are always harping about unity and harmony and all that crap. “Freedom and Unity” sounds like it should be the name of an a capella group at the University of Vermont.

New Hampshire: “Live Free or Die.” By far and away the most metal of any state motto. To put this in old-school SAT terms, Vermont: a capella :: New Hampshire : Bruce Willis action movie.


Vermont: Unkempt, like a vagina in the 1970s.

New Hampshire: Unkempt, like a hungry bear.

State Flag


Deer, cows, and hay. Wow, when can I visit?

New Hampshire:

Like Vermont, New Hampshire’s flag also features a blue field, but that’s where the similarities stop. The state seal (a velociraptor’s head in front of flames) is emblazoned in the center in front of two known awesome things New Hampshire has no real tie to: an electric guitar and a SMAW (shoulder-mounted assault weapon, better known as a bazooka). However, it should be noted that the state legislature is currently reviewing a proposal to add a really sweet pair of tits to the flag.

Famous Residents

Vermont: Bob Newhart’s character on “Newhart,” Pollyanna, Ben Affleck, and the two most prominent people in Mormon history, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Hey, thanks for Mormons, Vermont. Net impact: Douchetown in the heart of Weenie County.

New Hampshire: Triple H, Bode Miller, P.J. O’Rourke, and Adam Sandler. Net impact: dick-ish with a couple laughs.

In the interest of full Wikipedia disclosure, both states have a frighteningly high contingent of famous writers, most likely due to writers being seclusive weirdos who need lots of trees surrounding their cabin to write novels or whatever people are reading these days instead of the Internet.


Vermont, which has both the smallest capital city and the smallest largest city in the United States, has also established itself as the pussiest state in the union. New Hampshire doesn’t have sales tax, nor does it tax personal income, and I assume that’s because it funds its public sector with Vermont’s lunch money. God damn Vermont is a bitch. How has New Hampshire not enslaved that state for the production of maple syrup yet?

But don’t be fooled: New Hampshire, despite my embellishment of some facts and its state flag, isn’t some endless parade of badasses. As states go, it’s not in the same league of coolness as Texas or California, and it doesn’t have any of the charming retardation of Florida or Ohio. But in the strange realm of New England, New Hampshire is what passes for tough and conservative (of course, they prefer the term libertarian).

Basically, if you live in New England and want to join a militia, then New Hampshire is for you. But if you want to skip showering and listen to NPR, then head on up to Vermont. There’s plenty of space because all the cool people left.

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