It's a cliché about people from the USA that they are ignorant of geography. Not just world geography but their own as well. And I have to say that my experience ("You're from Australia? You speak English very well!" "You're British? I thought you were from England!") has confirmed the cliché somewhat.
I realise that quoting from the "overheard in" group of websites isn't exactly scientific, but their material is supposedly taken from real-life conversations.
Just from the last couple of weeks, there's been a woman who has apparently never seen a map of North America
, a Harvard MBA student who doesn't think that Philadelphia is big enough to have an airport
, a student who's applied to university in Miami, but doesn't know that Miami is in the USA
, someone who clearly thinks Omaha is a state
, and this person who sums up the whole phenomenon
So, is there some explanation in the school system for this? Are children in Texas, for instance, taught only the geography of Texas? Is there one particular social/geographical/age group providing all these examples? Obviously some people do have a basic grounding in geography because they're sending in these hilarious examples. They can't all be from ex-pats!