The official North Dakota "Been Here" mug was recently unveiled in Bismarck.

Bismarck, ND — State officials in Bismarck unveiled the latest mug in a national coffee chain’s “Been Here” collection, featuring North Dakota. The “Been Here” collection features all 50 US States with detailed illustrations of landmarks, wildlife, and points of interest.

North Dakota’s design for the collection features endless fields and prairies of snow with scattered bison, to accurately portray North Dakota’s endless winter season and rugged wildlife, according to North Dakota Department of Tourism officials.

“It was a tough decision to narrow down our design choices, but in the end, winter won, as it always does in North Dakota,” says North Dakota Department of Tourism Chief Barista, Joseph Verdona. “Other design options included traffic cones and highway construction workers, the Badlands, roadkill and hunters affectionately field dressing a deer. In the end, we settled on snow, layered on top of snow, blanketing endless prairies, highlighted with scattered bison. The mug is highlighted by a rustic sans-serif font that pays tribute to the wild frontier of North Dakota.”

The overall reaction to the mug has been positive.

“I’ve lived here my entire life and that’s about as accurate of a depiction as you get,” said one area man. “Snow, snow, and more snow. Heck, even the population here is mostly white so the mug checks off a few boxes.”

In addition to the mug’s design, North Dakota officials are examining a few ways the mug could also capture North Dakota’s legendary wind chills.

“One idea we have is to have the baristas and employees slap the customer in the face after they purchase the mug, because that’s an accurate representation of how our winter air feels on one’s face. Another idea we have is to have a small hole drilled in the bottom of the mug with the word “hope” printed in the inside bottom because frankly our hopes of winter ending continues to run dry, and we want the rest of America to experience that.”

The official mugs will go on sale in the coming weeks and will be available at all North Dakota coffee houses and also be available at the North Dakota Heritage Center. A portion of the proceeds from each mug’s sales will support the North Dakota Seasonal Depression Association, which aims to “End the Hopeless Winter Depression in North Dakota”.

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