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October 13th, 2010
Texas, Chile...Same Difference??

For the past few years, at least, officials in Atascosa County, south of San Antonio, have been sending out absentee ballot packages that include a page with the state flag proudly displayed in a wavy motion.

The only trouble is, it's the Chilean flag, not the Texas flag. And it took a Ph.D. candidate to point it out.

"Apparently the insert has been used for some time without anyone (voters and staff) noticing," he wrote in an e-mail. "I guess it's funny in some way, but my initial reaction was more disbelief that no one had noticed."

Troy Knudson , who is studying in Japan and registered to vote in Atascosa County, was the first to notice the mistake and alert officials.

He said election officials congratulated him "for preventing future Atascosa voters from seeing the flag mistake."

To be fair to the good folks in the 43,000-person county, the flags of Texas and Chile do look a lot alike.

Janice Ruple , the elections administrator in Atascosa County, didn't see any humor in the mistake.

"I don't think it's funny," she said. "It's a serious thing."

Ruple blamed the woman who held the job before her for the flag mix-up. The previous elections chief couldn't be reached for comment.

Ruple said her predecessor took other liberties with the ballots.

"She used to put in extra stuff," Ruple said.

A copy of an insert that came with Knutson's absentee ballot showed a sample ballot with mock candidates for county commissioner: "Black Jack Pershing," "Jean LaFitte" and "Davey Crockett."

According to historians in Texas and Tennessee, there's no "e" in Davy.

(The Statesman)

They both have a big white stripe on top and a big red one on the bottom. They each have a single star in the middle of a blue field. The only difference is that the blue on the Chilean flag is only in the top left corner. And in the Texas flag, the blue runs all the way down the left side.



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