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

Teen’s flags trigger international flap

Chou Tzu-yu

Flags are usually positive. Flags are often expressions of happiness. Flags can be celebratory. And, sometimes, flags can get you in trouble, as a teen pop star discovered. Chou Tzu-yu, a 16-year-old singer from Taiwan who was raised in a section of the island that hopes for independence from China, recently appeared on TV with… continue

History Lessons

Poet inspired by American flag

An officer rallies his flag-following troops

Walt Whitman, one of America’s finest poets, spent much of the Civil War in Washington, D.C., working in hospitals and caring for wounded servicemen. In April 1864, he sent a letter to his mother to share how the American flag affected soldiers and himself. “You don’t know,” he wrote, “what a feeling a man gets… continue

History Lessons

Flag color White House red, white and blue

American flag flies on White House in 1929 while President Hoover stands next to one to welcome teens. (Library of Congress)

Voters are voting, candidates are campaigning, and reporters are recording. It’s the year of a presidential election, and a new chief executive will move into the White House next January. But one thing will remain consistent: American flags displayed inside and waving outside the most famous home in the nation. The following stories, listed chronologically,… continue

History Lessons

Monday’s Sunday saved American flag

Rick Monday rescues the American flag.

Forty years ago, on April 25, 1976, just weeks before America would mark the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence, a Chicago Cubs centerfielder made an immortal catch that didn’t involve catching a baseball. Instead, it rescued an American flag. That afternoon, Rick Monday snatched the star-spangled banner from two protestors who had squirted lighter… continue

History Lessons

Quiz: Match fire departments to locations

Image #4.

Can you identify city fire departments as they show off American flags in various U.S. locations over many decades? All you have to do is spot the clues in old photos and drawings to figure out where the images were made. Have fun guessing, and then challenge your friends. Image #1. This photo shows firemen… continue