American Vaxillum Magazine
Richard Gideon in American Vexillum magazine, June 2005:

“Marc Leepson has written a highly readable and entertaining book about America's most recognizable symbol: the flag of the United States. But Flag: An American Biography is more than a history lesson about the murky genesis of the Stars and Stripes; it brings together a host of associated and ancillary people, places, and ideas that have made our national symbol an icon of liberty for over two centuries….Flag tells so many interesting stories and traces so many social issues related to the American flag that a review of all these subjects would result is a book of its own… 

Highly readable; tackles a huge number of issues related to the American flag; includes a large amount of information about flag usage in the 19th and 20th centuries; a lot of little-known information about people and places connected with the flag…. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED”

Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2005:

“Comprehensive, dispassionate chronicle of the potent banner that stirs up passions of every stripe…. Leepson (Saving Monticello, 2001) compiles the curious history of Old Glory and the special veneration it often evokes…. Unflaggingly straightforward vexillary law, lore and legend, agreeably presented.”

Gilbert Taylor in Book List, May 1, 2005:

“Chronicling the two-centuries-plus history of the U.S. flag, Leepson considers the abundant stories that purport to be the truth about Old Glory…. Its evolution into a symbol of popular affection, though one invested with divergent emotions, as laws and lawsuits concerning its proper display evince, animate Leepson’s evenhanded, myth-sifting account.”

Washington Post
Richard J. Ellis, Washington Post Book World, June 12, 2005:

“The many different meanings Americans have attached to their flag are conscientiously explored in Marc Leepson's new "biography" of the American flag…. Leepson's narrative of the development of Americans' flag fetish includes a number of tales well worth telling, especially the late-19th-century fabrication of the myth that a seamstress by the name of Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag…. Leepson, the author of Saving Monticello, is scrupulously evenhanded and reports what others have said and done about the flag with a minimum of editorializing. The tales of flag protesters and flag promoters are often colorful….”

Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly, May 31, 2005:

“Leepson notes that "no country in the world can match the intensity of the American citizenry's attachment to the…Stars and Stripes." He goes on to chart the evolution of the flag and Americans' relationship with it in its detail-packed history. Despite the famous image in George Washington Crossing the Delaware, Leepson (Saving Monticello) says, the general's boat did not display the Stars and Stripes; the Continental Congress hadn't yet determined what the American flag would be. And “flagmania,” as a 19th-century newspaper termed it, began only with the start of the Civil War. Embraced by the Ku Klux Klan, burned by Vietnam War protestors, the Stars and Stripes was again embraced in the wake of 9/11 as a ubiquitous symbol of American solidarity. Such was the revived flagmania, Leepson relates, that the flag was used to sell everything from contact lenses to disposable diapers. From reverence to kitsch, Americans' attitudes to their flag and its mythology have changed over the years, and Leepson does a creditable job of recounting those changes just in time for July 4. Agent, Joseph Brendan Vallely.

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Janet Parshall's America

Janet Parshall on “Janet Parshall's America,” syndicated radio and TV show, June 14, 2005:

"Renowned writer Marc Leepson has written an extensive and fascinating history of our nation's greatest icon, the American flag.”

Palm Beach Post

Ron Hayes, Palm Beach Post, June 14, 2005:

“Flag: An American Biography [is] an endlessly fascinating, carefully documented life of our most inspiring—and divisive—national icon.”

Phil Hall,, June 1, 2005:

“Leepson's ability to move beyond mindless flag-waving to point out the highs and lows of the flag's journey makes this a truly memorable book.” Grade: A+

Sirius Satellite Radio

“The Michelangelo Signorile Show,” Sirius Radio 149, June 23, 2005:

“A fascinating book.”

Leesburg Today

Margaret Morton, Leesburg Today, June 24, 2005:

“Densely packed with historical tidbits, a bit of myth debunking and some fascinating tales of colorful personalities, Leepson’s book is a skillful 266-page blend of history…that will keep the reader engrossed….  Leepson shows his fascination with the twists and turns and ‘what ifs’ of history.”

The VVA Veteran
the official voice of
Vietnam Veterans of America

John Clark Pratt in The VVA Veteran, May/June 2005:

“Widely praised for his last book, Saving Monticello, a history of Thomas Jefferson's house…. Marc Leepson has done an even more extensive job of research for his fascinating history of the development, use, and significance of our national flag…. Flag is a very significant contribution to our history. And it is a book that everyone who cares about the United States should read.”

Flagpole Magazine

Joe Silva in Flagpole magazine and June 24, 2005:

“For a learned take on…where [flag] traditions sprang, you'd be smart to turn to Flag: An American Biography [Thomas Dunne Books, 2005], Marc Leepson's new ‘bio’ of our nation’s ensign.”

HearSay with Cathy Lewis

“HearSay with Cathy Lewis,” WHRV-FM, Norfolk, Va., July 4, 2005:

“A well-told book…fascinating, very engaging and entertaining.”

The Linda Chavez Program

“The Linda Chavez Program,” WMET-AM, Washington, D.C., July 4, 2005:

“A fountain of wonderful knowledge about the flag…. Highly recommended.”

Library Journal

Charles L. Lumpkins, Library Journal, June 15, 2005:

“Recommended for public libraries.”

Wall Street Journal

David M. Shribman in The Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2005:

“Mr. Leepson has written five books and is a thorough, and fair-minded, compiler of facts, fables and ephemera. There is no story about the flag that he omits…. Our love for the flag may be incomprehensible to others, but at least we now have a comprehensive guide to its unfolding.”

Dallas Morning News

David Tarrant, Dallas Morning News, July 2, 2005:

“Timely and insightful.”


Alex Witt, “MSNBC Live,” July 3, 2005:

“It's very colorful [and] we love it.”

VFW Magazine

VFW Magazine, June-July 2005:

“A comprehensive history of the Stars & Stripes replete with fascinating facts.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Jay Strafford in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2005:

“Though much has been written about the flag, no comprehensive account has been as informative and entertaining as…Marc Leepson's Flag: An American Biography. Leepson, a journalist and historian and the author of the acclaimed Saving Monticello, brings a dispassionate eye to the story of the flag. And he rightly calls his book a biography rather than a history—the flag is seen by many as a living symbol, and numerous people have played a role in its story….

Flag: An American Biography is a valuable addition to American history, and Leepson, while never wrapping himself in Old Glory, certainly is due a portion of authorly glory for this absorbing account of America's national icon.”


Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr., editor, FlagWire, August 2, 2005:

“…a very well done work. I am very pleased to have it in my vexillological library…a great book.”

Chicago Tribune

James Alexander Dun, Chicago Tribune, August 7, 2005:

“[Leepson] provides an encyclopedic treatment of the flag in its various incarnations, uncovering numerous tales involving the various flags flown in Anglo North America from the Colonial period until the present. Among many other tidbits, the Betsy Ross story is rectified, the myth of Washington's coat of arms being the basis of the flag’s design is debunked, and the origins of the Pledge of Allegiance are explained.”

Newark Star Ledger

Bob Braun, Newark Star Ledger, September 26, 2005:

“entertaining and informative.”

Saturday Evening Post

Saturday Evening Post, September-October 2005:

“The fascination of history is in its details, and the author of Flag: An American Biography knows how to find them and turn them into compelling reading. From the young man who claimed to be the first to raise the American flag in England following the American Revolution (by having a famous artist paint the stars and stripes into his portrait at his London studio) to the little-known story of the design of our present 50-star flag (it was a 17-year-old high-school student's history class project that received a B-), this book brings out the irony, humor, myth, and behind-the-scenes happenings that make our flag's 228-year history so fascinating.”


Bert Gambini, host of Meet the Author, WBFO-FM, Buffalo, N.Y., September 27, 2005:

“Myths fall and surprises abound in Marc Leepson's Flag: An American Biography. The Founding Fathers may not have spent much time discussing the flag, but readers certainly will once finished with this carefully researched and wonderfully entertaining work of history.”

Loudoun Magazine

Loudoun Magazine, Winter 2005/2006:

“This biography of the American flag is a highly readable and entertaining book about the most recognizable symbol in America. But Flag: An American Biography is more than a history lesson about the Stars and Stripes--it tells the tales of a host of people, places, and ideas that have made our flag a symbol of freedom for more than 200 years.”

GW Magazine

GW Magazine, Fall 2005:

Flag: An American Biography (Thomas Dunne Books, 2005) by Marc Leepson BA ’67, MA ’71, recounts the fascinating history of the American flag. 'Americans have a unique and special feeling for our flag,' Leepson says. 'Nowhere on earth do citizens fly their national flags everywhere they live, everywhere they go, from our front porches to our pickup trucks.' The book brings depth to the origins and meaning of the flag and the patriotism and liberty that it represents.”

Veterans Radio- WAAM-AM

Dale Throneberry, host of “Veterans Radio,” WAAM 1600 AM, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and, December 11, 2005:

“You'll find it very interesting.”

Virginia Libraries Magazine

Maria Kimberly in Virginia Libraries (published by the Virginia Library Association), January-March 2006:

“Leepson keeps the narrative moving with a generally chronological telling of events and keeps the chronicle lively with biographical accounts of the important people in the history of the flag… . Along with the explicit flag proceedings, Leepson also regales the reader with how and why the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, and national motto came into being.

“This highly readable history of the flag is entertaining and informative for anyone with an interest in United States history or flags.”


R. J. Goldstein in CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, April 2006:

“..the book is a good read, is generally quite reliable on the facts, and fundamentally accomplishes its basic purpose.... Recommended.


Reid Mullins on KTOK-AM News Radio 1000, Oklahoma City, June 14, 2006:

“We love your book.

The Carroll County Times

Jordan Bartel in the The Carroll County Times, Westminster, Maryland, June 30, 2006:

“Who knew that a flag could be the subject of an interesting biography? Journalist Leepson comprehensively documents the origins of the flag and its high and low points in American history. Read this before waving the flag on the 4th.

Deborah Hendrick,, June 8, 2007:

"FLAG is Marc Leepson’s splendid biography about the American flag. First published in June 2005, this is a book that every family should have in their personal library.

Leepson’s book is meticulously researched, saturated with information about our country’s flag, and delightful to read. It’s like reading about a beloved relative—you know part of the story, but not the whole story. It’s our story, both good and bad.

At present, I use five reference books when writing about flags, and Marc Leepson’s FLAG is my favorite. It’s not fair to call it a reference book though, because that might imply that it’s dry and dusty, and I give you my word—it is not. It’s a terrific, interesting book.

FLAG is the perfect summer book, as we transit the solemn remembrances of Memorial Day, to the let-every-flag-wave day of June 14, to the light-up-the-sky Fourth of July."

Martin Sielaff,, July 12, 2011:

“Marc Leepson has written an engaging book on a familiar topic about which a great deal is known that isn’t true. A journalist and historian, Leepson’s purpose is to discover where fable and fact intersect. Because he writes with humor and irony, readers absorb 266 pages of what otherwise would be more than most people want to know about his subject.