Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Zoning in on Arizona

Celebrating an American state’s birthday seems, a tad, “UnAmerican.”  Interstate rivalries have been the thing of old tribal, tributary trial that the US Constitution intended to thwart.

This next week, I’ll continue in my land forays, celebrating, and investing in Arizona’s 100th birthday.  Not unlike President Thomas Jefferson, author of our Constitution, the plans include participating in caveats (a topic, perhaps, for another day).

The sixth largest brother amongst large “western” states, this "Top Ten" of the largest United States occupies the “west coast.”  I won’t mention them in order, but found these sets of state admission to the Union particularly astonishing. 

Am I the only citizen to find surprise in the fact California was admitted before West Virginia (in 1850, vis. 1863)?  How about Oregon, taking Kansas, Nebraska and “the Dakotas” by as little as two years and as stretched as three decades! 
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Vexillology is the study of flags.  In the context of the Colonial flag, there were “13 colonies.”  Of the 50 that “came to be”, only seven prominently display a single star.  The majority of them domiciled in the “west coast.”  There are even less that acknowledge multiple stars in bulk, with the state displaying all of them, with their star, in proper, ordinal admission to the union. 

This give and take, of state emphasis (with a single star), versus a new state recognizing its place in the demure (numerously, but particularly counted stars, united), hearken onto an ancient sense of proximity and vicinity.  But, as we see, the notion of the United States is not so simple.

A number of states, not so modestly, maintain a "Coat of Arms", with no inherently geographic derivation.  In the latent sense, they're all so novel and American.  Only a few display an analogous "Coat" of American Indian origins.

Maryland boasts the only flag bearing an English Coat of Arms, that of the Calverts, who, as Loyalists, fought against American sovereignty.  Washington’s Coat of Arms would offer an alternative to the rule, except that the “District” of Columbia is not a “state.”

Interpreting flags becomes an altogether time consuming matter, rivaling attempts at deciphering Coat of Arms.  It can ware and teem a laborious project.  A cadence, for example, is the subtle distinction in a Coat of Arms, in a family, that distinguishes one family member, or branch, from another.  Specifically, the extra use of two  escallops, or “sea shells”, mark the difference between Princes William and Harry, of the House of Windsor (the English Crown). 
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Returning to restate the tour of the facts, I look forward to an exciting opportunity to partake in the bounties of our nation’s youngest, “contiguous” state.

Also, New Mexico, happy belated 100th Birth Day  (this January past).  

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