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Area Codes And Civic Pride

Today we ran a story about the delay in rolling out the 364 area code in Western Kentucky. (Read it here to get the information).Whenever I hear about a new area code, I think of the huge amount of civic pride area codes apparently bring.Growing up in the St. Louis area, I couldn’t go a day without seeing a cap, t-shirt or bumper sticker advertising one’s area code. 314 meant you were either from St. Louis City or you lived in St. Louis County before it was “cool.” 636 meant you were from beyond North County, typically in a posh suburb. 573 was more rural pride and 618 was for folks from the artsy and sometimes dangerous east side (Illinois).Moving to Louisville, I noticed a lot of people wearing 502 gear. I’m not too familiar with competing area codes in the Commonwealth, but I wonder if Bowling Green and Owensboro will start showing support for the 364 area code in 2010.So how about you, do you take pride in your area code? Have you lived anywhere where this is a unifying factor? Is this some sort of new urban bonding or is it simply another way for people to belong to an exclusive group? Here in the newsroom, Susan Sweeney Crum brought up zip codes and how some areas use them for civic pride. Is that the case for anyone out there?

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.