The upcoming Independence Day holiday is all about fun, food, family, and celebrating America’s freedom from Britain. Here are five interesting facts about the U.S. flag you can share with your kids while waiting for the fireworks to start.

  • History states the red, white, and blue colors of the U.S. flag represent valor (red), liberty and purity (white), and justice and loyalty (blue).
  • There have been twenty-seven official versions of the American flag, each with a different number of stars.
  • Of the six American flags that were planted on the moon, five of them are still standing. Which one isn’t? The first one, planted by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission.
  • President Eisenhower received thousands of ideas for an updated flag when Alaska and Hawaii become states. Robert, a seventeen-year-old high-school student from Ohio, submitted his version, which he created for a class project. It was accepted and remains in use today. Can you believe that Robert got a “B” on his project?
  • The Pledge of Allegiance has changed four times since it was composed in 1892.

Enjoy celebrating with your family, and remember the freedoms we have, especially the freedom to worship as we wish.

(Flag photo courtesy Pixabay)

Vickie McDonough is the best-selling author of fifty Christian fiction books and novellas. Her stories are sweet romance stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others living in the Old West. Vickie’s books have won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best and the Inspirational Choice awards. Find her online at




You’re Never Alone  by Vickie McDonough 

You're Not Alone

You’re Not Alone

Before I became a published author, if I got the chance to meet one of my favorite authors face-to-face, I would literally shake. It happened more than once. I can’t tell you why. What I’ve learned—and should have known all along—is that authors are just regular people. Yes, we worked hard and may be more creative than someone else, but we’re normal folk. Surprise

My husband and I raised four sons, and are now enjoying a granddaughter. My life didn’t change much after getting published, except that I worked longer hours than I’d ever worked before and I had a little extra income, which was really nice.

Now, I’m primary caregiver for my mother, who is 87. There are days I honestly don’t want to go visit her. She can be very sweet and loving, but also quite cranky and mean. Lately, she’s been in a nursing home, recovering from a fall.

I’ll admit I’m not the most patient and compassionate person around. I’ve come to have great respect for the nurses and aides at the nursing home who empty bed pans, listen to whiny, forgetful seniors all day—or night—and have to be on their feet twelve hours at a time.

My husband has been unemployed for four months, so finances are getting tight. The other day I cried as I drove home from the dentist’s office because I didn’t have the money to pay them. Then I started feeling guilty. Yes, money is tight, but we’ve never gone hungry, we still have a nice home, and a car to drive. My mother is still here while many have lost theirs. I thought of those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from and how they will feed their children.

Life just isn’t fair at times. But who told you it would be? God never said we wouldn’t have difficult times, but He did promise to be there to help us through them. That reminds me of the Footsteps in the Sand poem by Mary Stevenson. The poem talks about a dream where the author is walking on the beach. During hard times, she only sees one pair of footprints in the sand, but at good times, there are two sets. She asks God why He wasn’t with her during the difficult times, and He said: “Those are the times I carried you.” Wow! Just imagine God holding you in the hard times.

I want to encourage you that you’re not alone. Yes, life is not fair. But we don’t have to walk it all alone. Most of us have friends and family who will help, but ALL of us can have God’s comfort and help. We just need to ask—and believe, especially when we don’t see Him.

Vickie McDonough

Vickie McDonough

Long Trail Home

Long Trail Home

Bestselling author Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead, she married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams penning Christian romance stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others living in the Old West. Vickie is a CBA/EPCA/Amazon best-selling author of more than 40 published books and novellas, with over 1.5 million copies sold. Vickie has been married for forty-one years to Robert. They have four grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and a precocious granddaughter.