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Roughly 1959

Unanswered questions department . . . in this morning’s papers there was a short write up on an extraordinary business boom which hit some of the coves along the shore of Long Island. In 1931 and again in1938 that area along with the rest of New England was hit by a souped up hurricane. When the winds were blowing it must have seemed like a senseless tantrum thrown by nature . . . an ill wind that couldn’t possibly blow anyone any good. But it did. It has since been discovered that the hurricane pushed a lot of salt into the bays which scratch the underarm of the island with the result that the waters, having become more saline, are far more inviting to shell fish and finn fish. Total effect . . . more business . . . more money in the bank. Now that seems to add up . . . it makes sense and the question Is answered but the reason for fitting this in the unanswered question department is this: In the same edition there is a report of a mass of locusts advancing on Sardinia. All set to devour what little food crops there are remaining. The army of locusts is 28 miles long, 2 and a half miles wide . . . and solid . . . That’s about 70 square miles of locusts. What’s nature’s design in that? How is that question answered? At a time when food is much needed everywhere in the world, along comes this plague of locusts squirming up out of the ground and massed for an air raid. Maybe the question must remain unanswered because it‘s just none of our business.

However, what is our business is an effort to do something to help. It would help for example . . . if everyone sitting in at this session would make it a point to go light on the second helpings and diminish the heft of the dessert. It probably won’t take much cutting . . . Just a proper and sensible appreciation of the value of food.

Things you don’t stop to think about department: You are no doubt aware that there is some talk of admitting Alaska and Hawaii to statehood in this union. Have you thought about how that’s going to affect our flag. In 1912, when Arizona became a state, the flag was altered to include the 48th star. Now what? Obviously it will never do to have a forty eight starred flag if the count goes to fifty. What will that mean? Think of the office buildings and hotels and department stores that have thousands of dollars worth of flags for display on holidays. Will they all be useless? It’s illegal, you know, to display any but the prescribed ensign with the ratio of fly to hoist strictly defined and the order of stripes and the pattern of stars. Maybe the government will allow a period of grace as they do when they introduce a new army or navy uniform . . . Time allowed for wearing out the old. And what will the new flag, if any, look like? Two more stars squeezed into the field? It’s quite a problem what with existing stocks. Imagine all the flags there are at the various army and navy establishments here and abroad and on all the ships at sea. And even foreign governments who keep a supply of our flags handy for rendering honors and bestowing courtesies. All have to be changed. And changed to what? Maybe with the current shortage of materials they’ll think of some device that will permit the present flag to continue to serve with the addition of a postscript indicating in some way . . . also Alaska and Hawaii. It’s a bridge to be crossed only when we come to it, of course, but there’s no law against wondering what the new flag will be like if and when the 49th and 50th states join the team.

Murdoch has an idea for making use of the existing flag stocks. How about an additional star in each of the two far corners? It would sort of finish it off nicely and they could be sewed on without having to scrap the old flag at all.