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      Wapello County Historical Museum debuts collection of American flags

      The Wapello County Historical Museum is home to a unique piece of Americana.

      Nearly two dozen Ottumwans gathered at the museum's newly restored railroad clubhouse to see a collection of American flags. The collection features all 27 official US flags.

      From the famed first flag featuring 13 stars, to the current 50 star flag, the national symbol has always reflected the nationâ??s growth.

      The collection was put together in the 1960's by Ottumwa Civil Defense Director Park Sullivan.

      Chuck Bates helped make sure Sullivan's collection found home at the museum.

      â??I donâ??t think there are very many complete collections of American flags anywhere. So itâ??s worth spending a little bit of time and effort to make sure it's maintained and that people can enjoy it,â?? Bates said.

      If you want to see the collection for yourself, this week is the perfect time.

      As part of Iowa's Museum Week, admission to the Wapello County Historical Society Museum is free.

      Next at the museum will be a presentation about the history of Graham's Ice Cream. That will take place on July 31.