Do Your Legal Duty: Eat Cookies | God's World News

Do Your Legal Duty: Eat Cookies

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    Montgomery student Mary Claire Cook and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey pose with the new state cookie. (Governor’s Office/Hal Yeager)
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    The Yellowhammer cookie includes pecans, oats, and peanuts. (Governor’s Office/Hal Yeager)
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    Governor Kay Ivey signs the bill designating the State of Alabama official cookie on June 2, 2023, in Montgomery, Alabama. Mary Claire Cook watches. (Governor’s Office /Hal Yeager)
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    The cookie is named after the yellowhammer bird. That state bird is also called the northern flicker. (Handout)
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    Freshly overturned peanuts lie in a field in Summerdale, Alabama. Farmers grow pecans, oats, and peanuts in the state. (AP/Mobile Register, John David Mercer)
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Fourth graders at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery, Alabama, spotted a problem this year while studying state history. Alabama has over 40 state symbols. But one was clearly missing: a state cookie.

All U.S. states have a state flag and bird. Many also honor other objects, like state rocks, trees, and even cakes. Two states had an official cookie at the time of the students’ research. New Mexico savors bizcochito (bis-co-CHEE-toe). That’s a shortbread cookie topped with cinnamon sugar. Massachusetts favors chocolate chip.

The fourth graders rolled up their sleeves and came up with 24 cookie recipes. They baked their goodies and offered them to the school’s seniors. Seniors voted for best cookie, and first prize went to Mary Claire Cook. She describes her treat: “It’s pecans, oats, and peanuts, and it has peanut butter filling in the middle.”

Seniors named the winner the Yellowhammer. Alabama is known as the yellowhammer state. The name pays tribute to the state bird, a spotted woodpecker also called the northern flicker.

Russell Powell was one of the senior judges. He says the Yellowhammer cookie represents Alabama well. Pecans grow in Mobile and Baldwin counties; peanuts thrive in the Dothan area; and oats flourish in the central part of the state. Pecans are also the state nut, while peanuts are the state legume.

State governments operate much like the federal government. There is an executive branch, which includes the governor. It ensures laws are followed. The legislative branch makes laws and is made of a House of Representatives and Senate in most states. The judicial branch is the state court system. It interprets and applies laws.

The seniors pitched the idea of an official cookie to local Representative Reed Ingram. He wrote a bill and submitted it to the state’s House of Representatives. The House approved it.

Senator Will Barfoot then took the bill to the Senate. A Senate committee passed the bill and sent it to the full Senate for a vote. It passed!

The governor had to sign the bill to make the law official. The New York Post reported Governor Kay Ivey’s reaction to the Yellowhammer: “Sweet Home Alabama just got a little sweeter.”

The establishment of a state cookie is a fun law to create. Other laws protect us and keep order. State officials are meant to govern in ways that honor God’s wise design. God tells the Israelites, “A law will go out from me, and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.” (Isaiah 51:4)

Why? It’s a blessing to live in a nation where people have a voice in the laws that are made. Even young people can inspire the passage of a new law!

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