Sunday, March 27, 2005


Today I drove to Olympia with some friends, to check off another item on my to-do list. I thought as an eight year resident, I should visit the Capitol before moving away.

Originally uploaded by klbarrus.
Washington State Capitol

We were surprised to find the building open on Easter Sunday. We took the tour, which covered the House and Senate Galleries, the Rotunda, and the State Room. Well, we also saw the door of the Governor's office, but not the inside.

In the State Room was an interesting flag. (Sorry about the crappy picture but it had a protective sheet over it, plus there were reflections from oddly angled lights).

42 Star Flag

This flag wasn't actually ever an official flag of the United States, but I thought it was interesting anyway. Washington was the 42nd state to enter the Union, so the residents at the time created a 42 star flag to celebrate. It was a busy time for the U.S. as in the span of 9 days, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington entered the Union (Nov 2 1889, Nov 2 1889, Nov 8 1889, Nov 11 1889, respectively). Idaho and Wyoming joined the next July (July 3 1890 and July 10 1890), so at that time a 44 star flag was adopted. By this time, Colorado (38th to enter the Union) had been a state for nearly 14 years, without a representative star on the federal flag!

Just as an interesting aside, around the turn of the century, it became custom to only add stars to the federal flag on July 4th. When Alaska entered the Union, the official federal flag added its 49th star on July 4th 1959. Hawaii entered later in 1959, so the 50th star was added on July 4th 1960.

We wandered around outside, and saw a few other things: a sunken garden, World War I memorial, Vietnam War Memorial. The Capitol is on a hill overlooking water, so the view is quite nice. By this time my friend's kids had exhausted their attention span, so we piled in and drove back to Seattle.

Originally uploaded by klbarrus.
World War I Memorial

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