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July 8, 2012
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

Have you ever had a few days that were just out of control-well, I'm having one. The Courier called a few minutes ago and said they hadn't seen my article yet, "It's an early week." I have been quite preoccupied. Our daughter, Vicki, is at our house waiting to go to Germany later this week. Her husband is there, her car has been sent, their house is sold, her furniture is shipped, their dogs have been in Germany for over a week and she's tying up lose ends here. And this hot weather has made me pretty slow and with some of the family coming this week I better shake my doldrums.

This is the week we all should be thinking about our freedoms and what our flag stands for. The flag of the United States of America is one of the oldest national standards in the world-older than Great Britain's Union Jack or France's tricolor. During America's War for Independence the need for a single national emblem was realized. On June 14, 1777, Congress passed a law 'stating that the of the thirteen colonies or now states have 13 stripes, alternate red and white, that there be 13 stars, white in a field of blue, these representing a new constellation.' June 14 is now celebrated as Flag Day. This design associated with Betsy Ross was used until 1795.

In 1794 after Vermont and Kentucky became states, Congress established a flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes. This design which remained for 23 years was "The Star Spangled Banner" Francis Scott Key wrote about in 1814. Finally in 1818, Congress settled on our current design. They returned to 13 stripes with the number of stars equal to the number of states, which was 20 at the time.

Many of us will be flying and waving our flag this week and wave it proudly because even in strife we are one nation under God, something none of us should forget. America has its problems, but with all problems there are solutions. We just need to remember that we all are equal, we are Americans surely as men rode up and down the east coast with the Declaration of Independence, I too would run up and down the state with a copy.

Here is an easy and quick recipe even a kid can do:


2 large crisp apples

(unpeeled and cut into


1 cup raisins

3 to 4 Tablespoons


Mix together and chill. Serve on crisp lettuce. This goes very well with a sandwich on a hot day.

"Have a safe and fun holiday and remember to keep cool this week."



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