Deanna K. Klingel lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina in a log home overlooking rhododendron and mountains. Her housemates are husband Dave, her childhood sweetheart, and Buddy, their golden retriever. The couple have seven married children and eleven grandchildren. Deanna enjoys traveling with her books to reenactments, museums, historical events and schools.
by Deanna K. Klingel
I’m a flag waver. Always was, always will be. Something about a flag waving valiantly against a peaceful blue sky that puts a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.
In elementary school, two students raised and lowered our flag every day. It was a proud moment. I remember telling my mom, “Today I was a real American. I was the flag guard.” I was all in when it came to creating patrol flags in summer camp, or Christian banners for Vacation Bible School. In high school I sewed a school flag for our new gym. I was a Scout leader for eons, both boys and girls. We had patrol flags, troop flags, and all my Scouts knew flag etiquette.
My Senior Girl Scouts performed an impressive ceremony at the International Girl Scout House in Adelboden, Switzerland. And they were as impressed as I was at the U. S. Army Base in Heidelberg, Germany, on the Fourth of July where we saw the biggest flag ceremony imaginable. I’m still a flag waver.
When my books are on display at book signings, schools and festivals, every book has a little desk flag. Yes, you read that right. Just for the Moment, The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog flies a flag I made from one of the dogs’ bandanas with the official therapy dog patch.
My Civil War books have an assortment including the Hospital flag. I have a Vietnam flag for Bread Upon the Water, and a Lithuanian flag for Rock and a Hard Place. Cracks in the Ice has a pretty Olympic flag. The picture books have U.S. flags. The most recent addition is The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber. This book flies the first, second, and third Confederate flags which were the official flags under Jefferson Davis. This book about Jim Limber offers a new insight into the lives of the Davis family.
When the latest flag controversy buried Facebook, I wondered what Jefferson Davis would have said about the battlefield flag. I’ve studied and researched a lot about Jefferson Davis for the Jim Limber book and now for one I’m writing about him. He was never for the battles and wanted to settle the disputes with debate and dialogue. He was the first to acknowledge the lost cause. At the end his words to the Confederates were similar to Lincoln’s and Grants. “Go home. Abide by the law of your own place. Put this behind you. We are American’s first and foremost. We must reunite under one flag.” I think Jefferson Davis would say put the battlefield flag in a museum so we never forget our history.
We all need to wave one flag. It’s a big flag. It takes a nation of hands to hold it high.
Who is Jim Limber? Where did he come from? What became of him? Those are great mysteries of the Civil War.
Jim was a real boy, a freed child, an orphan. In 1864, Varina Davis saw him being abused and took him to her home, the White House of the Confederacy. For 14 months, until the collapse of the Confederacy, Jim was one of the Davis children.
This book offers middle graders the opportunity to finish Jim’s story and send it to the author who will post it on her website, making the writer of the ending a published author.