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Oddbins—April 17, 2008

1. I don’t have anything particular to share today. I’ve been burrowing into the National Archives lately, and I can burn off the whole day there and not even realize it. Among other things, I’ve been searching for the earliest images of the U.S. flag. I didn’t think it would be easy, but I didn’t think it would be this hard either. Most of the “flags” that I have found are in military photographs, and I’ve had to revise my original goal—a clear and unmistakable image of the flag. What I thought and hoped I’d find—remains elusive.

Silver Star medal2. My father-in-law, Bob, was awarded the Silver Star during World War II while serving in the Philippines. An Army photographer took pictures at the ceremony, and a print was mailed to his mother at home in Texas. Unfortunately, the photograph was ruined years later. I am certain that somewhere, the negative is safely tucked away in a government facility, and I am determined to find it and have another print made for Bob.

3. Yesterday, via the internet, I found a brochure for The Sons of the Republic of Texas (Founded April 10, 1893, reorganized in 1922, and incorporated in 1934). Reading through the brochure, which is about the Texas flag, I came across this: Like the U.S. flag, the Texas flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly. It should be folded correctly before being stored in a clean plastic bag or container.

That prompted me to telephone, because if there is a correct way to fold the Texas flag, I certainly want to know about it. I assumed that any folding of the Texas flag would prominently feature our beloved Lone Star on top. My bad. The correct way—a practical way—to fold any state flag is the same way we fold the American national flag. The point is to safely secure the flag so it can be stored, and the tri-corned method is the best method to use, because loose edges and ends are tucked inside. Ohio has a unique method for folding the state flag, but if any other state has a special method I don’t know about it.

4. In addition to the National Archives, my photographic hunt has taken me to the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institute, National Park Service, and The White House.

5. Happy Birthday to my dear mother-in-law, Chris—who didn’t get a birthday card from me, but will get a long chatty phone call.

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