Thursday, August 16, 2018

Building a Story World: Part Fact, Part Fiction


by Pam Hillman

Creating a story world is like being captivated by a stranger’s face through a rain-soaked window, or traveling through an unfamiliar countryside blanketed in heavy fog. There’s a hint of what’s on the other side of the glass or the haze, but you can’t see everything clearly. But because of that very thing, your imagination is given the freedom to paint the picture you most want to see in your mind.

If you could wipe the glass clean or burn away the fog, you might discover that the story world in question is part fact, part fiction.


This is true of the story world I created for my Natchez Trace Novel series set in the 1790s. Each story begins in Natchez-Under-the-Hill, touching on some of the aspects of the seedy wharf and making reference to actual streets that were already laid out at the time. Governor Gayoso, his future wife, Elizabeth Watts, and his secretary, Stephen Minor, make cameo appearances.

My characters travel along the Natchez Trace, stopping at a tavern called Harper’s Inn. This particular inn is fictional as I wanted it to be a very rough establishment. Mount Locust, on the other hand, which was a very respectable inn and is still standing to give visitors a look at what inns (also referred to as stands) of the day consisted of, is also mentioned, giving anyone familiar with the area a yardstick by which to gauge where my characters are as they travel back and forth along the trace.
Mount Locust

It felt natural to include Mount Locust in my story world. My characters don't spend much time there, but each book mentions the inn and the characters pass by it several times during the course of the series. It's a good landmark to give authenticity and a benchmark location.

Breeze Hill Plantation is fictional, but if pressed, I could take you twenty miles north of Natchez along the old trace, find a hill surrounded by rolling countryside, and claim it as the spot where Breeze Hill would have stood. The plantation home itself is based loosely on the floor plan and design of Linden Hall, part of which was constructed in 1785 and is located in Natchez proper to this day operating as a Linden Hall B&B. Most of the other plantations, homes, and businesses sprinkled throughout the series are fictional.

Linden Hall, circa 1785

Another thing I found was the floor plans for Linden Hall. They were invaluable in picturing where the rooms were back in the day and assigning said rooms to my characters. Again, Breeze Hill is fictional, but the floor plan and the U-shaped house is real. As I wrote both The Promise of Breeze Hill and The Road to Magnolia Glen, I kept the floor plans and the location of the outbuildings close at hand.





Why use a real location? Readers are anchored in the story when an author uses a real town, country, or geographical location that they are vaguely familiar with to set the stage. It might be as broad as “the Mojave Desert,” or “London, 1845”.

With the reader anchored solidly in fact, the author can then add in a fictional ghost town or fort at the edge of the desert, a small millinery tucked on an unnamed side-street in London, or even an entire plantation along the Natchez Trace in 1791.

And then the fog lifts, allowing the reader to see the story world clearly.

Hop over to JustRead Publicity Tours and join the tour for a chance to win a basket of goodies, including print copies of both The Promise of Breeze Hill and The Road to Magnolia Glen.
Hosted by Pam Hillman and JustRead Publicity Tours

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

MMMadness with great GIVEAWAYS!


Welcome to the Mid-Month Madness Party! Four of the Heroes, Heroines, and History (HHH) bloggers will be your hostesses. We hope you enjoy the party! Summer is winding down but it's still hot so wear something fun and cool. We have sweet tea and lemonade with lots of ice and of course finger foods, brownies, cake, and some healthy veggies. So kick back and visit with us today. Feel free to ask us questions about our books, writing, or our lives. And we'd love to hear what's going on in your neck of the woods, along with what you like to read. 

Scroll through all our books and when you get to the bottom of the page you'll see the great giveaways for the blog party. Each author contributed to the prizes.

Be sure to leave a comment with your email address so we can let you know if you win. You can also check the side bar where we list winners. Thanks! And enjoy the party.

Don't forget to hop over to the Facebook Party for more prizes! 



OUR GIVEAWAYS!
4 WINNERS!
EACH WILL WIN ONE BOOK



Avice Touchet has always dreamed of marrying for love and that love would be her best friend, Philip Greslet. She’s waited five years for him to see her as the woman she’s become but when a visiting lord arrives with secrets that could put her father in prison, Avice must consider a sacrificial marriage. 

Philip Greslet has worked his whole life for one thing—to be a castellan—and now it is finally in his grasp. But when Avice rebuffs his new lord’s attentions, Philip must convince his best friend to marry the lord against his heart’s inclination to have her as his own. 






Rosalinda knows she will never escape her past, both the choices forced on her and the mistakes she’s made. She longs to find a place to live in peace—where she can learn to mother her children and where Lucio Armenta won’t be a constant reminder of the love she can never have. Lucio wants to marry. However, Rosalinda, the only woman he’s ever been attracted to, doesn’t meet the ideals he’s set for his future wife. When he discovers she, and her adorable brood, are accompanying him to his sister and brother-in-law’s, he objects. An objection that is overruled. When secrets from Lucio’s past are exposed, and Rosalinda faces choices no woman should have to make, will their growing love, and their faith, survive? 




When a fiery social crusader interrupts a slave auction, a horse trader and his twin brother are set on a collision course with war – – brother against brother. Can the passion that severed ties lead to a love that overcomes hate? 






Russ Fleming shows up at the Lodge where Kaitlyn Bronson is event planner, and her world shatters with the memory of his rejection seven years earlier. When he seeks her forgiveness and tries to explain, she rejects him. Even though she still loves him, she can’t forget how he left to join a ski team with no explanation. Even after he reveals his past and the reason for his abrupt departure, the forgiveness doesn’t come. Kaitlyn’s conflicted feelings wreak havoc in her soul until she sees the truth behind her own attitude and takes the path to the top of the hill where she can conquer her fears. 






BE SURE TO STOP BY THE FACEBOOK PARTY TODAY FROM 1 TIL 3 FOR A CHANCE TO WIN MORE GREAT PRIZES!




ABOUT YOUR HOSTESSES




Debbie Lynne Costello is the author of Sword of Forgiveness, Amazon's #1 seller for Historical Christian Romance. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina with their 5 horses, 3 dogs, cat and miniature donkey.
Connect with DebbieLynne:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Debbie-Lynne-Costello/
Website: www.debbielynnecostello.com
Blog: www.theswordandspirit.blogspot.com
Blog:www.HHHistory.com








Nancy grew up on a small farm in the Midwest amidst a close knit family. She came to love farm life including the cooking, gardening and canning, but not so much the cleaning house part. In school she often got in trouble in history class for hiding a fiction book in her text book to read during the teacher’s lecture. Nancy was shocked to later discover she had such a love for history. Now Nancy lives in Southern Arizona and loves to research and include bits of history in her books. She is a Christian and enjoys encouraging her readers in their faith.









Kathleen L. Maher has had an infatuation with books and fictional heroes ever since her preschool crush, Peter Rabbit. She has a novella releasing with BARBOUR in the 2018 Victorian Christmas Brides collection, featuring her hometown of Elmira, New York. Her debut historical, Bachelor Buttons, blends her Irish heritage and love of the American Civil War. She won the 2012 ACFW Genesis contest for her Civil War story, releasing this summer under a new title The Abolitionist’s Daughter. Kathleen shares an old farmhouse in upstate New York with her husband, children, and a small zoo of rescued animals.


Follow Kathleen
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KLMaherAuthor/
on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mahereenie
and on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/kathleenlmaher


 

Martha Rogers is a multi-published author and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband Rex live in Houston, Texas where they are active members of First Baptist Church. They are the parents of three sons and grandparents to eleven grandchildren and great-grandparents to four, soon to be five. Martha is a retired teacher with twenty-eight years teaching Home Economics and English at the secondary level and eight years at the college level supervising student teachers and teaching freshman English. She is the Director of the Texas Christian Writers Conference held in Houston in August each year, a member of ACFW, ACFW WOTS chapter in Houston, and a member of the writers’ group, Inspirational Writers Alive.
Find Martha at:  www.marthawrogers.com
www.hhhistory.com                          
Twitter:  @martharogers2                               
Facebook: Martha Rogers Author

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Insurance Maps for Research?

Gabrielle Here:

Sometimes I don't know what I enjoy more, writing or researching history. That's probably why the Heroes, Heroines, and History blog is such a good fit for me. 

I use many different resources for my research. Some of the more common are pouring over old newspapers, savoring the mundane details in a long-forgotten journal, and studying non-fiction books. But there are several other ways to go about research. Just this past weekend, I attended the Rendezvous at Grand Portage, Minnesota where people reenacted the voyageur culture from the fur trade during the years 1730-1790. I've seen a lady reenacting Betsy Ross and working on a flag at her home in Philadelphia, I've spoken to people portraying the original Pilgrims at Plimoth Plantation, and I've interacted with guides at Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois. Besides visiting museums and historical sites, writers can also interview people, go through original letters, and even watch period dramas (though I still check the facts presented there). 

But an unusual way I've discovered to find unique details is to look at old insurance maps.


I chuckle whenever I think about the people who created those stuffy insurance maps over a hundred years ago. They probably had no idea someone would come along and treat them like a long-lost treasure.

Here's a picture of my work station. The papers on the left are copies of insurance maps from the 1890's. The maps give amazing detail about the buildings in Little Falls, Minnesota, where I've set several of my books. It's a great resource to discover what types of businesses were in town during 1898. There were at least three cigar factories, two breweries, numerous millinery shops, dress makers, confectioneries, bakeries, hotels, cobblers, tailors, livery stables, banks, schools, churches, an opera house--not to mention flour mills, lumber mills, a paper mill, three brick yards, two iron works, blacksmiths...the list goes on and on! 

The maps give specific details about how the buildings were heated, if they had electricity or gas, if there were watchmen on duty, when the buildings were in operation, etc. They also indicate if the building had outhouses or indoor plumbing.

These maps have been invaluable to me over the years as I write my stories. Something as simple as an insurance map can become a priceless glimpse into the past. It makes me wonder what future generations will use to study our current culture.

Your Turn: if you're a writer, what is the most unique item you've used for research? If you're a reader, what kind of details do you enjoy in historical fiction? What's something unique you've learned by reading?

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

The Pony Express & Overland Mail Service


By Miralee Ferrell

I really, really want to write a book featuring a Pony Express rider, as I love writing books set in the Old West. The Pony Express existed for such a short time in history. It was in operation from April, 1860, to October, 1861--only a short 18 months. It made an impact on our nation and is still depicted in books and movies today, and it's strongly associated with the Old West. In the era before any type of electronic communication, the Pony Express is what tied the East to the West. 


And here's something I didn't know prior to researching this subject...there were other's who came before the Pony Express--the Butterfield Overland Mail Service started deliveries in 1857 along with other private carriers in the following years. However, Butterfield did things a bit differently--he didn't send out riders who changed horses at each station, he sent the mail by stage. 




A Butterfield stage wagon on the trail, early October 1858, in Arizona by William Hayes Hilton. This drawing is a good representation showing the wild mules used to pull the stage wagons on the rougher sections of the trail. Some wild horses were also used. Credit for this photo goes to https://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-butterfield/

Here's an interesting quote from a reporter who rode the stage/mail route on the very first trip. Had I not just come out over the route, I would be perfectly willing to go back, but I now know what Hell is like. I’ve just had 24 days of it.”

—Waterman Ormsby, special correspondent for the New York Herald, after having made the first westbound trip on the Butterfield Stage.
  From Wikipedia...
The Pony Express was set up on a different basis. William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell organized and put together the Pony Express in two months in the winter of 1860. The undertaking assembled 120 riders, 184 stations, 400 horses, and several hundred personnel during January and February 1861.[7]

Majors was a religious man and resolved "by the help of God" to overcome 
all difficulties. He presented each rider with a special edition Bible and required this oath,[8][9] which they were also required to sign.[10]

The actual name of the company wasn't Pony Express, it was the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company. And I love this oath--can you imagine anyone asking an employee to sign this today? From Wikipedia...

I, ..., do hereby swear, before the Great and Living God, that during my engagement, and while I am an employee of Russell, Majors, and Waddell, I will, under no circumstances, use profane language, that I will drink no intoxicating liquors, that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employers, so help me God."
— Oath sworn by Pony Express Riders[11][12]

It's also hard to conceive that a man riding a selection of horses, trading off at each station for a fresh horse, and traveling on trails and dirt road and crossing eight states, could make it from Missouri to California, a trail cover 1966 miles, in 10 days! Buffalo Bill Cody was one of the most famous riders who worked for the Pony Express and made those wild rides from East to West. Riders encountered Indian attack, accidents, wild animals, and other dangerous situations on their ride across country, risking their lives to deliver the mail.


Pony Express stables in St. Joseph, Missouri. Photo by Wikipedia poster in August 2006
In 1860, there were about 186 Pony Express stations that were about 10 miles (16 km) apart along thePony Express route.[7] At each station stop the express rider would change to a fresh horse, taking only the mail pouch called a mochila (from the Spanish for pouch or backpack) with him. (Wikipedia)

So why did the Pony Express fade away after only 18 months? The first transcontinental telegraph was established October 24, 1861, where messages could be sent easily from one side of the country to the other.


The National Pony Express Association (NPEA) strives to keep the spirit and memory of the Pony Express alive. NPEA was established in 1978 to honor the memory and endeavors of the Pony Express riders of 1860-1861 and to identify, preserve, and mark the original Pony Express route through the eight states it crossed: Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California. (From https://nationalponyexpress.org/)

In 1992, Congress added the trail to the National Trails System as a Historic Trail, administered by the National Park Service.

Miralee Ferrell is a best-selling, award-winning writer who lives in the Pacific NW with her husband, two dogs, two cats and seven chickens. Many of her books are set in the Old West, but she also has a few contemporary novels as well as a set of five middle-grade horse novels with a sixth in the works. She had the privilege of having one of her book, Runaway Romance, made into a movie. It aired on UP TV in January and is now available on Hallmark on Demand. You can find out more about Miralee HERE

 My featured book is Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon, a historical romance set in 1904 in the Columbia River Gorge, where I live. It contains a number of historical facts woven into the story, and the book is going to be made into a TV movie as a contemporary, sometime in 2019. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Victorian Houses: The Kennard House in Lincoln, Nebraska

A footnote from history by Stephanie Grace Whitson

I enjoy taking advantage of the opportunity to see lovely old homes and to imagine the lives of those who occupied them. Here in my home town of Lincoln, Nebraska, the Thomas P. Kennard house is a lovely example of Italianate Victorian style. Kennard was Nebraska's first Secretary of State. His 1869 home is the oldest structure still standing on the capitol city's original plat. For people like me who love learning about the past, stepping through the front door is an exercise in time travel. 


To get an idea of the "buzz" this house would have created when it was going up, take a look at the photo at right, which shows a view of the house from the first state capitol building. What's the first thing you notice? The "nothing"? Me, too. I'd say that locating a state capitol in this place was an exercise of faith in good things to come. 





Can you imagine moving onto this treeless plain from, say, Indiana or Illinois? I wonder at Mrs. Kennard's reaction. I wonder if she ever looked East from that cupola and longed for home. And trees.





The corbels and other architectural elements on the home's exterior are lovely, but I'm glad it isn't my job to keep them painted!

The first thing I noticed stepping inside this home was how very dim the lighting was compared to what I'm accustomed to in 2018. Reading by lamplight sounds romantic, but I'm thankful I don't have to do it. 



Isn't that walnut bed gorgeous? I love everything about this room ... the burled walnut headboard, the hair wreath in the oval frame n the opposite wall ... and the very early treadle sewing machine that is just out of sight at the lower left of the photograph.

Do you see the date on the drop of the bedcover (in the shadow of the chairback)? Is that stuffed work? I don't know, but if my eyes aren't fooling me, the date is 1869. Who made it? For what special occasion? 

See the needle point chair sitting at the machine? I have one much like it that belonged to Jennie Venetress Kingsbury, my children's great-grandmother. I just stopped typing to take a photo of it (see photo at right). My needlepoint replaced the original silk covering that was rotting away. 

The pillow shams on the bed in this period bedroom are examples of redwork embroidery. I purchased a similar pair at an auction in Nebraska. Mine are dated 1869. Since Nebraska became a state in 1867, my pillow shams could have come west with a Nebraska pioneer! 

Inevitably, a visit to a house like this fills my mind with questions. What about you? Do you like visiting historic homes? If so,  you might want to take a virtual visit to the Kennard Home by viewing this video, which features the amazing Jim McKee, historian and storyteller par excellence:https://www.c-span.org/video/?326070-1/thomas-kennard-house 


The home on the cover of my novel Sarah's Patchwork is right across the street from the Nebraska State Capitol. It inspired the house where Sarah Biddle worked and met the wealthy man who would fall in love with her. I was honored when Jim and Linda McKee, who operated a wonderful local bookstore at the time, sponsored a book release party at this home, which had been saved from near ruin by someone who looked beyond plaster and lath into the lives of the people who inhabited this grand old lady.


Sarah's Patchwork was inspired by the history of 19th century orphan trains. Each scrap of fabric in Sarah's patchwork quilt bears silent witness to the rich life experienced by a strong, resourceful woman who stitched "the tears of the past into a treasure for tomorrow." Find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Sarahs-Patchwork-Keepsake-Legacies-Book-ebook/dp/B01DV1SX9Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533673916&sr=8-1&keywords=sarah%27s+patchwork















Saturday, August 11, 2018

Nellie Bly

Adventurous and Daring!

by Martha Rogers
In high school, I was on the newspaper staff and loved my journalism class. In college, I took more journalism courses to improve my writing skills and journalistic ability.


One of the women we studied was Nellie Bly, a pioneer in journalism and what we might call today an “investigative” reporter.

She was born as Elizabeth Cochran on May 4, 1864, in Cochran’s Mills Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1880 at the age of sixteen, writing columns for women on things pertaining to the home, gardening, society and child rearing for the Pittsburgh Dispatch. As was customary, she used a pen name for her writing. She chose Nelly Bly from the Stephen Foster Song, but it was misspelled in the paper as Nellie and stayed that way. Her editor was so impressed by her writing that she was able to convince him to begin investigating new topics such as divorce and its effect on women. She even went to Mexico for six months as a special correspondent.

From Pittsburgh, she moved on to New York around 1887 as Nellie Bly and worked on assignments at the New York World, John Pulitzer’s flagship newspaper.

Several events as a reporter there cause her to stand out as a journalist. The first was her assignment to go undercover as a mental patient. She so impressed the editors that they gave her a top assignment. According to Nellie, “I was asked by the World if I could have myself committed to one of the asylums for the insane in New York, with a view to writing a plain and unvarnished narrative of the treatment of the patients therein.”

Nellie found getting committed to the asylum to be rather easy. She used the name Bly Brown to take a room at a cheap boarding house where she questioned and imitated the women who seemed the most insane to her. Sure enough, she was deemed insane, and the matron of the house had Nellie escorted by the police to the Essex Market Police where a rather impatient judge name Duffy declared her to be insane. He ordered her to the insane ward at Bellevue Hospital, and a few days later, she boarded a ferry for the island in the company of unwashed and uncomprehending women. One of the attendants told her that once she got to that place, she’d never get out of it.

She spent a number of days Blackwell’s Island Lunatic Asylum and took careful notes of both her own experiences and those of other inmates. She painted such a dire picture of the mistreatment of inmates and how they experienced a host of abusive treatment from cold baths to confinement in small, locked rooms infested by vermin.

She dropped her act of acting crazy and tried to present herself as mentally competent. That went nowhere until the newspaper sent an attorney to arrange for her release. On Sunday, October 9, 1887, the World ran the first installment of her story, and Bly became an overnight sensation. The psychiatrists who had diagnosed her to begin with, apologized profusely, but it didn’t stop the reporting.

One of her quotes from her notes:


A grand jury was impaneled to investigate the abuses and poor treatment reported by Nellie. What she discovered became an embarrassment to the city aldermen, and they quickly appropriated a million dollars a year to correct the abuses Bly exposed. About one month after the expose hit, many of the problems she reported were improved. Better living and sanitary conditions were among them as well as more nourishing meals. Even the most abusive nurses and physicians were fired and replaced.

She later published a book based on her experiences. Ten Days in a Mad-House was a slim book but

remains a classic in the annals of psychiatry and warns against inhumane treatment of the mentally ill.

Another major event in her career occurred when she broke the record set by Jules Verne’s fictional Phineas Fogg in the novel, Around the World in 80 Days. In 1889, it was the fastest journey in her era and she made it around the world in seventy-two days. She became famous for it, and it was widely reported around the world.

Nellie went from one journalistic success to the next with a series of dispatches from the Eastern Front during WWI and her reports on the Women’s suffrage movement.

Reporting wasn’t her only world. In 1895 she married an elderly Robert Seaman, a wealthy man who ran the Iron Clad Manufacturing Company. Due to his failing health, she retired from journalism to take over the reins of his company. He died in 1904, but carried on with the company.



Nellie Bly died at the age of 57 in 1922. Many have wondered what triumphs and good deeds this woman could have accomplished if she’d lived longer. She will long be remembered as the woman who helped change the plight of the mentally ill. Sadly, the treatment of the mentally ill still needs a great deal of attention. 


Martha Rogers is a multi-published author and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband Rex live in Houston, Texas where they are active members of First Baptist Church. They are the parents of three sons and grandparents to eleven grandchildren and great-grandparents to five. Martha is a retired teacher with twenty-eight years teaching Home Economics and English at the secondary level and eight years at the college level supervising student teachers and teaching freshman English. She is the Director of the Texas Christian Writers Conference held in Houston in August each year, a member of ACFW, ACFW WOTS chapter in Houston, and a member of the writers’ group, Inspirational Writers Alive.

Find Martha at: www.marthawrogers.com,

Twitter: @martharogers2 Facebook: Martha Rogers Author








Friday, August 10, 2018

The Flag Folding Cermony



I recently returned from a long trip to the Nation's Capitol, and one of the most poignant, emotion-filled events was a visit to Arlington Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I witnessed the 'Changing of the Guard' ceremony. 

So very moving. The inscription on the end of the soldier's tomb brought tears to my eyes. 

"Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known But To God."

While everywhere in Washington, D.C. are symbols of America, America's great patriots, presidents, and people, it was at Arlington that the history and cost of becoming America and remaining America hit home. And how true that statement is. Though we do not know who the young World War I soldier is, God knows. He knows the identity of the soldiers who lie in the graves representing World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, who are also interred at this site.

Patriotism wells up as we watch the solemn, stately, and reverent ceremony of the changing of the guard, and as we witness the honor bestowed on four unknowns by their fellow soldiers. It's hard to hold back the tears of grief and pride.

Our view of the Changing of the Guard Ceremony.
The crowd stands out of respect.
While discussing the trip with my children, my son asked something about the American Flag that I had never wondered about. "Why do we fold the flag into a triangle shape?"

Excellent question, so off to Google we go!



Here's what I found at the American Legion site: (You can read more by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/vincealongi/

  1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
  2. The second fold signifies our belief in eternal life.
  3. The third fold is made in honor and tribute of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace.
  4. The fourth fold exemplifies our weaker nature as citizens trusting in God; it is to Him we turn for His divine guidance.
  5. The fifth fold is an acknowledgment to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
  6. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
  7. The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies.
  8. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
  9. The ninth fold is an honor to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty, and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
  10. The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first-born.
  11. The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  12. The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
  13. The last fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”


I had no idea of the symbolism in the flag folding ceremony. And I am amazed and pleased with how much of the symbolism speaks to the Christian heritage of our nation.


Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.comwhere you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/ where she spends way too much time!