Simplifying the state name is complicated.

Although voters last year decided to shorten “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to just “Rhode Island,” the plan for scrubbing the old name from public view remains hazy.

For starters, no one seems to know exactly how many permanent carvings, inscriptions or representations of “Providence Plantations” actually exist throughout the state.

There’s the giant bronzed seal embedded in the State House marble floor, of course. And the old name is carved in foot-tall stone letters on the face of the McKim, Mead & White capitol building as well as the Department of Transportation headquarters across the street.

State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

Yet in a state that once deployed five rotating state houses in different counties, the likelihood of more examples lurking off the beaten path seems high.

Finding them has proven unusually challenging.

After the November election, then-Gov. Gina Raimondo formed a “task force” to sniff out all locations where ” ‘and Providence Plantations’ is used in state facilities.”

The task force met once last year, and that’s it, Department of Administration spokesman Robert Dulski wrote in an email Thursday. It includes representatives of the community college system, University of Rhode Island, the secretary of state’s office, the court system and the Department of Administration.

The State House and Department of Transportation building both are adorned with the words "Providence Plantations". [The Providence Journal / David DelPoio]

“This process is still ongoing and when it is finalized, the [Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance will report to the [Gov. Dan McKee] Administration on their findings,” Dulski wrote. He could not provide any sense of when these findings would be reported.

Some remnants of the old name are easy to find. 

State statutes are littered with references to “Providence Plantations.” A bill requested by the court system would scrub those words from state laws governing the judiciary. The House version, introduced by Providence Democrat Leonela Felixis scheduled for a hearing Wednesday.