Born On The 4th Of July

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There will be significant talk of "America" this week. And "American." And Liberty, Freedom, and Patriot.

And those are just the credit union names.

As America celebrates its birthday this July 4, it will do so with more credit unions than ever drawing upon the country's heritage for their monikers. Some of those names reflect the primary sponsor-Texas-based American Airlines Employees and Erie, Penn.-based American Meter Employees are two examples.

But many others reflect name changes, as credit unions have moved to broader fields of membership and have sought out names that don't reflect a limited geographic reach.

There are 31 credit unions in the U.S. with "America" or "American" as the first words of their names, beginning with America First in Ogden, Utah, and concluding with American Uniform in Cleveland, Ohio. In between are Hermiston, Ore.-based America's Best Community Credit Union (others might challenge that), Birmingham, Ala.-based America's First Credit Union (that honor actually goes to St. Mary's Bank), and Baltimore-based American Hammered (whose name sums up the mental state of many by the end of the day on the Fourth of July).

Freedom is another popular name for credit unions, with 10 CUs using "Freedom" as the first word of their name in some form, beginning with four CUs operating as Freedom Credit Union.

President Bush has said that American soldiers deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq are fighting for liberty, but he's probably not referencing the seven credit unions that use Liberty as the first words in their names, including Liberty Bell Credit Union, which is, of course, in Shawnee, Okla.

There are at least nine credit unions using "Citizen" in their names (not including Palmetto Citizens in Columbia, S.C.), three that use "Patriot" as the first words in their name and two U.S.A. FCUs.

There is just one CU waving a Flag (Credit Union), in Tallahassee, Fla. But there are 12 credit unions with "Star" as the first word in their names, seven CUs with "Red" in the name, 21 with "White," and 17 with "Blue."

While the Fourth of July is also Independence Day, only two credit unions use Independence as the first word in their names, and, not surprisingly, both are in Independence, Mo.

Speaking of Independence, where President Harry Truman grew up, there are fittingly enough on July 4, 12 credit unions with Jefferson as their first names, 11 with Washington, and 10 with Lincoln.

Looking for Uncle Sam this July 4rth? You'll find him-or at least Uncle Sam FCU-in Troy, N.Y. To the south, in Connecticut, you'll also find Constitution State Corporate CU.

Finally, while there is no Picnic Credit Union to be found, there is a Coca-Cola CU in Alabama. And what better to wash down with that Coke than a piece of P.I.E. (Credit Union, based in Houston).

So enjoy the holiday. Especially if you're in Vacationland (Credit Union, Sandusky, Ohio).

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