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When Rip Van Winkle comes back to his village after he has been asleep for 20 years he first visits his house and finds it in a state of shambles. He then goes directly to his favorite bar and this is where the reader notices symbols of the newly created United States. When he gets there he notices that "Instead of the great tree that used to shelter the quiet little Dutch inn of yore, there now was reared a tall naked pole, with something on the top that looked like a red night-cap, and from it was fluttering a flag, on which was a singular assemblage of stars and stripes--all this was strange and incomprehensible." In this quote, it is clear that Rip notices the first United States flag but has no idea what it is. The second symbol occurs right after the first when he sees that "the ruby face of King George ... was singularly metamorphosed. The red coat was changed for one of blue and buff, a sword was held in the hand instead of a sceptre, the head was decorated with a cocked hat, and underneath was painted in large characters, GENERAL Washington." It should be clear to the reader at this point that Rip slept through the entire Revolutionary War.
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