Major Michigan mitten mess

A Wisconsin tourism website stepped on Michigan's toes by dressing the state up like a mitten. / Source: Wisc. travel website

The use of a mitten as part of a Wisconsin tourism promotion is attracting some attention in Michigan, which is known for its mitten-shaped Lower Peninsula.

Alex Beaton is founder of Awesome Mitten, a website launched in June that promotes all good things about Michigan. Beaton says she was dismayed to see the mitten image on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism website.

"People in Michigan, we do identify ourselves so closely with the Mitten State," Beaton said of the state's Lower Peninsula. "We're America's high five!"

Wisconsin Department of Tourism spokeswoman Lisa Marshall says the image of a knit mitten shaped like the state of Wisconsin went into use online Dec. 1. She notes people in Wisconsin also consider their state to be mitten-shaped.

VOTE: Weigh in on which state is the "REAL" mitten state on Michael Henrich's Facebook poll

Tom Lyons, who works in public relations in Neenah, Wis., said Michigan residents shouldn't be getting their yarn in a twist over Wisconsin's mitten theme for its winter tourism campaign.

"Wisconsin is the left mitten. Michigan is the right mitten. Even children know that one mitten doesn't cut it when it comes to Midwest winters," Lyons said.

"We complement each other and it's not our fault that their thumb is smaller," he said, taking a lighthearted jab at Wisconsin's neighbor across Lake Michigan.

Dave Lorenz, manager of public and industry relations for the state of Michigan, said with a chuckle that Michigan understands Wisconsin's "mitten envy." In response, retailers in southeast Michigan have started selling "Don't mess with the mitten!" apparel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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