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Thursday, July 4, 2024
Good morning to you!

The red, white and blue is prominent this week, as it should be. But how much do we really know about the American flag? Much of what we learned came from our elementary school classes or a Looney Tunes cartoon. Meanwhile, the American flag is a symbol that has inspired stories, art, songs and more. It represents what it means to be an American, at least to me.

On June 14, 1777, Congress passed an official flag act, establishing a version of the U.S. flag as a symbol for this newly founded nation. The resolution stated, “Resolved, that the flag of the United States is thirteen stripes, alternating red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Heavy speculation exists about how the American flag originated. One theory suggests the design’s origin involves the Sons of Liberty. New Jersey Congressman and Declaration of Independence signer Francis Hopkinson is generally regarded as the designer of the original design. But most of us recognize Betsy Ross, a Philadelphian seamstress who made flags for the Pennsylvania Navy, as the person who sewed the design.

During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay to persuade British forces to release an arrested friend. Key freed his friend, but the pair could not leave due to an impending attack on Baltimore. On Sept. 13, Key watched as a barrage of Fort McHenry ensued. On Sept. 14, only hours after the battle began, Key witnessed the American flag flying over the fort, a symbol to announce the American victory. To detail this experience, he wrote a poem that published in the Baltimore Patriot. What became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner” soon appeared across the country. President Woodrow Wilson designated it as the national anthem of the United States in 1916.

During the Space Race in the mid-20th century, the United States and the Soviet Union were competing to achieve superior spaceflight capabilities. In 1969, President John F. Kennedy announced that the first humans to land on the moon were Americans. Commander Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. Armstrong placed an American flag on the moon’s surface, marking another proud American moment in history.

The current American flag consists of 13 alternating red and white stripes, representing the 13 original colonies. The 50 white stars against a blue field represent the 50 states. Each color of the American flag also has meaning. Red stands for bravery and valor, white stands for innocence and purity, and blue defines perseverance, vigilance and justice.

Wave the flag proudly and have a patriotic Fourth of July, and, as always, thank you for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

See Shane Goodman's previous columns here.


Clear Mortgage meteorology

Rain chances return today… central and southern Iowa, morning and afternoon, northern Iowa, late afternoon and evening. Right now Friday and Saturday look dry.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

From the July issue of CITYVIEW

2024 Choice Awards

By Jim Duncan

Inspired by Japan’s Living National Treasures, the idea for CITYVIEW’s CHOICE awards originated 10 years ago. The Japanese program honors “preservers of important intangible cultural properties.” In the years after World War II, anxiety arose in Japan that their unique cultural traditions — noh, kabuki, origami, kumi, sumo, teapot ceramics, noodle making — might be swamped by the conquering Western culture. By honoring revered exemplars of those arts, they preserved them and made them important to a new generation.


CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The results have been tallied and published in the February issue of CITYVIEW and online!


Best West Side Bar

1. Shotgun Betty’s

2. Wellman’s Pub & Rooftop

3. The Winchester Public House

Read all the results now!

Explore Des Moines

CITYVIEW's seasonal guide for activities and things to do in Central Iowa

EXPLORE: Central Iowa Drinkeries

By Cyote Williams

Wineries, breweries and distilleries make up this list of what we like to call “drinkeries.” Get the best wines, beers and spirits specially made in the heart of Iowa.


How to pick the best watermelon. Luling, Texas, is a great foodie getaway. Seriously. Luling claims to be the "Watermelon Capital of the World." The town's City Market has made Texas Monthly's list of 10 best BBQs every year for 60 years. It now has an outlet in Houston’s Galleria. This year's Watermelon Festival featured the “Black Diamond” melons that put Luling on the food map. The champion melons weighed more than 110 pounds and fetched $2,000 to $3,000 at auction. The Watermelon Queen of 2024 explained that the most reliable way to choose a good watermelon is by thumping — the best melons will produce the hollowest thump. Hy-Vee, Price Chopper, Trader Joe's and Fresh Thyme all have whole melons on sale for $4 and under this week. 

Can this be true? For the first time ever, America has more cannabis users than alcohol users. Health concerns about booze are one explanation. (WSJ)

The Iowa Italian-American Cultural Center is half way toward its goal of raising $17 million. It is hoped to open, spectacularly, by the end of 2025. 

Thursday specials. Sprockets (2314 University Ave., Des Moines) has Thursday specials on breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches and BOGOs on Long Island ice teas and margaritas... Fire cracker shrimp are $6 on Thursdays and five pasta dinners are just $12.99, including fettuccine chicken Alfredo, at Bianca’s Grill & Vineyard (410 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny)... Ribeye sandwiches are tonight's feature at The Station on Ingersoll (3124 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines) and chicken fried steak or liver and onions dinners are at Mickey's in Yale (217 Main St., Yale)... Bordanaro's (6108 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines) has a Wednesday-Thursday only special on carryout pizza. They start at $6.50 for a 10-inch cheese pie. Each ingredient added is an extra charge, but this pretty much adds up to half-price pies... Tito’s Lounge (3916 Urbandale Dr., Urbandale) martinis and cosmos are just $6 Thursdays and can be paired with half-price firecracker shrimp, fried calamari, spread platters and fried pickles... Hilltop Farm's (22018 T Ave., Dallas Center) U-pick patches are now open with yellow peppers, hot peppers, yellow beans, cucumbers and zucchini.  
— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.

$1,200,000                                                         32446 Ute Ave., Waukee, IA 50263

Unique 5-acre private paradise with extensive landscaping, gardens, multiple perennials, shrubs and trees. Two stocked ponds, lower pond with lighted fountain and 2 aerators, upper pond with bubbler fountain, both with large mouthed bass, crappie, bluegill, grass carp and bullfrogs.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
SOLD: Featured commercial real estate transaction
SALE DATE: 2024-04-15
SALE PRICE: $170,000
ACRES: 0.248
From the July issue of Adel Living magazine

The tradition continues
Dallas County Fair offers events, exhibits and more July 9-13

By Jackie Wilson

The kids are out of school, people are taking vacations, and a long-standing summer tradition — the Dallas County Fair — is quickly approaching. This year, it runs from July 9-13 at the Dallas County Fairgrounds in Adel. However, pre-fair activities start even earlier. On July 6, a truck pull showcases speed and power between competing trucks, July 7 is a fair open house, and July 8 is when static exhibits open.

This year, the Dallas County Fair Board is excited to showcase a new horse barn. Ashley Zika, fair board director who has served on the board since 2019, says the horse barn was a much-needed item.



FROM KCCI: Central Iowa fireworks shows: When and where you can watch Fourth of July fireworks...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Big Creek Lake open for the holiday, no flooding concerns.  ... READ MORE FROM WHO

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Beaches at Lake Red Rock close amid rising water levels. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports headlines
ESPN: Three Phillies, Judge, Soto, Ohtani among MLB All-Star starters.   ...READ MORE 
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Bucks to Sign Taurean Prince in Free Agency, per Report.  ... READ MORE
CBS Sports: 2024 NFC West race: Can anyone challenge the 49ers? How the Rams and Seahawks could put up a fight.   ...READ MORE
1776: Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and its king.  ... READ MORE
1884: France gives the Statue of Liberty to the United States. ... READ MORE
1826: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die.   ... READ MORE
Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date: Melissa Barrera · Luke Thompson · Post Malone · Malia Obama  • Sophie Fergi • Clinton Cave • Angelique Boyer

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What's the problem with the surgical robot that was recently invented? IT ONLY OPERATES ON BATTERIES! - Gail Tomlinson. Or, from Rex Post: short circuits, if they had a code issue.

Today's riddle

How do you weigh Gen Z-ers?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella or Ankeny, Altoona, Bondurant Living magazines, contact:

Angela Ossian
Account Executive
Office: 515-953-4822 ext. 307
Mobile: 515-979-5585

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