Author: James Breig

James Breig is a veteran author who specializes in history. His most recent book is “Star-Spangled Baseball: True Tales of Flags and Fields” about the links between the sport and flags. He is also the author of a nonfiction book about WWII, "Searching for Sgt. Bailey: Saluting an Ordinary Soldier of World War II" and co-author of "The Mystery of the Multiple Mothers," a novel. All three are available at His articles have appeared in newspapers and national magazines, including the Colonial Williamsburg Journal (search for them at and History Magazine. He has won many national awards for his opinion writing, media columns and feature articles.
History Lessons

Vermont is strict about its flags

Vermont's coat of arms

How now red cow? That question could be a common reaction to the Vermont state flag. Vermont is marking the 225th anniversary of its entry, on March 4, 1791, into the U. S. As the 14th state, it was the first to join the Union after the original 13 colonies. State Flag The first official… continue

History Lessons

Violin virtuoso loved American flag

Jascha Heifetz

At New York City’s Carnegie Hall at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, 1919, the New York Philharmonic presented is 1,294th concert. The orchestra’s first act was to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” in honor of the American flag. The 17-year-old guest soloist, born in Poland, was Jascha Heifetz, destined to become one of the greatest… continue

History Lessons

Flags in Williamsburg, flags with George Washington

A guardhouse's flag is furled in Williamsburg. (Author's photo)

George Washington was born on Feb. 22, 1732, right? Well, not quite. He was actually born on Feb. 11, 1731, 285 years ago. Either way, he was surrounded by all sorts of flags his entire life. The National Archives website clarifies his birth date by noting that Washington “was born in Virginia on February 11,… continue

History Lessons

Of Flagg, American flag and yellow flag

A Civil War hospital flag. (Army Medical Dept., Center of History and Heritage)

A few years after the Civil War ended, a multi-volume opus was written. Titled “The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 1861-’65,” it bulged with case studies, surgical breakthroughs – and some flags, one of which was a person. FLAGG One of the breakthroughs involved Corporal Eugene Flagg, a member of… continue

History Lessons

Two flag stories for Black History Month

Anti-lynching banner in NYC (Library of Congress)

Black History Month in February provides the opportunity to recall events that connected Black Americans to flags. One story is horrible; the other, inspiring. LYNCHING After the end of the Civil War Flags and the emancipation of slaves, many angry Southerners avenged their defeat by persecuting Blacks, denying their rights and lynching them for supposed… continue