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

Philly flag flies and flaps

Philadelphia's city flag

When members of the Democratic Party gather in the City of Brotherly Love for their quadrennial convention to nominate a presidential candidate, they will see American flags all around the venue. Those with sharp eyes might also spot Philadelphia’s city flag. The banner was conceived in 1894 by a learned expert with eclectic interests that… continue

History Lessons

City flag sparked six-decade romance

Susan Hepburn is shown as a teen and an adult in this 1941 illustration. (The Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Republicans and Democrats will soon gather for their national political conventions in Cleveland, Ohio, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, respectively. There are sure to be plenty of American flags and lots of red-white-and-blue bunting on display. But what about the flags of the municipalities welcoming the delegates? In one case, a city flag actually kindled a romance… continue

History Lessons

Sitting atop the world…on a flagpole

Circa 1920, a man named Edward Flagg shows his love for the American flag by hugging a flagpole. (Library of Congress)

We all know that flags fly from flagpoles. But, in the 1920s, flagpoles often came with something else attached: human beings! How the Roaring Twenties’ fad of flagpole sitting began is lost to history, but many men, women and children called attention to themselves by climbing up poles and sitting there. And sometimes standing on… continue

History Lessons

Fourth of July flag flew at sea in 1944

Front page of the Buccaneer, dated July 4, 1944.

For 240 years, the Fourth of July, which marks the debut of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, has been a special day for American flags. On that date in 1944, as World War II continued to rage, a newspaper printed aboard the USS Essex published an editorial titled “Independence Day 1944.” Read in the… continue

Flag Information

Flags save lives on beaches

Common beach flags.

With summer here, many families are hurrying to the beach. To make sure they bring everything they need, they might compose a checklist: swimming suits, picnic items and beach toys. But the most essential item is a list of beach warning flags. Around the world, beaches post flags of different colors to alert swimmers to… continue