Washington State


QUESTION (And here's a tough one for you):  What is the only State in the United States of America named after a former president?
A). Jefferson
B). Lincoln
C). Franklin
D). Washington

The American Treasure Tour is home to many strange, wonderful, odd, and delightful things.  I don't know if you would place a collection of flags into any of those categories, but we do have our fair share of flags to be enjoyed.  We have state flags, national flags, signaling flags, and the occasional advertising banner, for good measure.  Today, we would like to honor the flag of the northwesternmost of the states of the contiguous 48 United States (yes, that means Alaska is not included in this case): Washington. 

The Washington Territory was admitted to the Union in 1889 as the 42nd State of the United States. This date is noteworthy for the story of their flag because, when the Daughters of the American Revolution wanted to hang a copy of it in their headquarters, they discovered there was no actual, official flag. That was in the year 1914. So the state got their act together. Being the Evergreen State, they began with a field of green, then simply centered the state seal in the center of the flag. Boom. It just so happens that the seal is dominated by a portrait of our first president, making theirs the only flag to honor a president.  It became the official symbol of Washington State in 1923, a full thirty-four years after the territory became a state!  The downside of the flag is that it is the single-most expensive state flag to duplicate, since the seal must be stitched on both sides of the green field to avoid reverse imaging.  

ANSWER:  D). Washington. Although at one time or another, all three other options were considered for state names.  As it is, A) and B) were both incorporated into capitol city names.  Oh, and C) was not an actual president, so here's really hoping you didn't guess that!

Mt. Rainier

QUESTION:  Mount Rainier was welcomed into the National Park System in what year?
A)  Trick question. Mt. Rainier is not part of the NPS.
B)  1789
C)  1899
D)  1929

The American Treasure Tour blog is celebrating a new week with a new theme.  Okay, fine. An old theme revisited. Philumeny, the collecting of matchbooks. Today, we are going to honor a beautiful destination in the state of Washington:  Mount Rainier.  The matchbook itself is surprisingly well done, revealing the majesty of one of the most recognizable natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest.  It also happens to be considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. 

The International Association of Vulcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (or maybe more easily remembered as IAVCEI) regards sixteen volcanoes around the world as "Decade Volcanoes" - which basically means that should any of them erupt, the destruction in their path thanks to a number of different elements could be truly catastrophic.  Mounts Vesuvius and Etna in Italy are two of them, and Rainier is the only one in the United States. One of the primary dangers with Rainier is what is called lahars. Rainier is covered in glacial ice that, should the intense heat of an eruption melt it, will cover the entire region in a massive mud- or lava flow that would pretty much decimate everything in its path. To date, there has been no solid evidence that Rainier is preparing to erupt, so until then it should be considered a must-stop destination the next time you visit Washington.  Its beauty and majesty is truly something to behold. 

ANSWER:  C)  1899.  It was the fifth site in the United States given National Park status.